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Rwandan rebels’ ideology undermines peace, says minister

KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- Rwandan officials said Tuesday FDLR rebels’ continuous spread of the genocide ideology undermines national peace and security despite the rebels’ weak military might at the moment.

The FDLR is not a military threat to Rwanda in term of military might and capacity, Defense Minister James Kabarebe said before a parliamentary standing committee to brief lawmakers on state of national security and territorial integrity.

“But the assessment we have made is that their tactic of disseminating genocide ideology among Rwandans could be a major security threat, not only to Rwanda but to the entire region,” Kabarebe said.

The FDLR, he added, has mastered the art of spreading genocide ideology, a practice some of their top leaders have done since 1950s.

He noted that the failure of the FDLR to launch a conventional military action, has rather made them resort to terrorism acts as well as spreading genocide ideology, which does not need powerful armory and many troops.

Their tactics or terrorism, he said, requires a few mutineers to perform such insurgencies, this reflects two things—military weaknesses while showing their cruel intentions.

Since December 2009 to January 2014, spate of terror attacks blamed on FDLR and their terrorism partners—Rwanda National Congress (RNC) -- amounted to about 36 grenade explosions reported in Rwanda, Kabarebe said.

The insurgencies claimed 21 people and injured 460.

The minister said the terror tactic could be an idea owned by RNC, using FDLR to execute the mission.

Kabarebe blamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) for failing to guarantee peace and security to Rwanda and harboring the FDLR for the past 20 years.

The Jan. 2 deadline given to the FDLR by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United Nations Security Council to voluntarily disarm or face military action was ignored.

The minister expressed frustration that a month after the deadline passed nothing has been done to disarm them.

Kabarebe, however, pointed out that despite terrorism and other security threats in the region, posed by FDLR in Rwanda and Al- Shabab in Kenya, Rwanda enjoys unprecedented level of peace and security.

Congolese President Joseph Kabila has been under much international pressure to approve plans for a joint military action by the government army (FARDC) and the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade, which has an offensive mandate from the UN Security Council.

FARDC announced late January a fresh offensive against the Rwandan rebels after weeks of heavy international pressure to act. But the announcement was seen as propaganda in Rwanda.

FDLR elements are blamed for taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when more than a million people were killed, mainly from the Tutsi minority. 


Rwanda to focus on countering genocide ideology at commemoration

KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- Activities to mark the 21st commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda will focus on engaging the international community on ways to counter pockets of genocide denial and revisionism, the National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide (CNLG) said Friday.

Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the commission’s executive secretary, said this while appearing before the Senatorial standing committee on political affairs and good governance.

He said the commission would mostly use Rwandans in Diaspora to drive the campaign.

“We intend to put more efforts in engaging communities outside Rwanda, now that there have been isolated cases of genocide denial and revisionism,” said Mucyo.

Genocide ideology, which is criminal in Rwanda, manifests itself in attempts to deny or minimize the scale and severity of genocide.

Mucyo said plans are also underway to erect more monuments in memory of the genocide against of the Tutsi in different countries.

Genocide memorials have been erected in different countries such as Uganda with three memorial sites and France, where it was inaugurated last year.

Mucyo said other mass graves were discovered in Tanzania where a befitting burial will be planned and information indicates that there are other victims whose remains were buried in Burundi after being washed there by water.

“Walls of remembrance are being built around the world and this facilitates people to visit and commemorate the genocide while understanding the true history behind.. despite the long journey we have taken a big step so far,” he added.

This year’s commemoration that falls on April 7 will be marked at the village level as commemoration at the national level is held after every five years.

Senator Chrysologue Karangwa meanwhile urged CNLG officials to expedite the construction and rehabilitation of memorial sites in the country to ensure that majority are finished before commemoration period.

The genocide in Rwanda claimed lives of more than 1 million people.



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