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Analysis: Why DRC Government Sanitises FDLR

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DR Cong Government Spokesperson, Patrick Muyaya has described the Rwandan rebel outfit, FDLR, largely made of reminants of genocidaires, as a “movement”, meaning that it has a legitimate and acceptable cause it is fighting for.

He made the outlandish remarks live on Aljazeera Television, exposing a long time held DRC government’s view of FDLR.

This comes after Tshisekedi said that Rwandans (clearly FDLR since they think it’s a movement) need to be assisted to cause regime change in Rwanda.

FDLR, which is now integrated into the Congolese army, openly states that it has a job to finish back home, that of exterminating Tutsis.


To finish the job, they began with a systemic killing spree of Congolese Tutsis in Eastern DRC. This is one of the main causes of the creation of M23.

As their government looked on, M23 took arms to defend themselves. The Government describes their defense as terrorism.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lonzen Rugira, a Rwandan political analyst, says that the sanitizing of FDLR from a criminal outfit to a “movement” “is a testament to DRC policy of using it as the vehicle for executing Tshisekedi’s regime change in Rwanda.”

He adds that it means FDLR has all resources (military/diplomatic) of the DRC state at its disposal in pursuit of this goal.

Rugira says DRC “has crossed the redline,” the kind that even the shelling of Rwanda’s territory didn’t achieve. As a result, he adds, “the prospects for resolving the FDLR problem has gotten that more complex as a result of this DRC policy, with dire implications for regional peace.”

FDLR is a criminal outfit by virtue of the genocide they committed in Rwanda. At best they can be fugitives but not refugees.

Moreover, Rugira explains, “their criminality is embedded in the (criminal) ideology they prescribe to whose aim is to uproot all Tutsi inside Rwanda and outside.”

Rugira and other scholars conversant with the security history in the region and Rwanda in particular, argue that FDLR doesn’t just aspire for the goal of eliminating Tutsis.

FDLR actually executed this objective in 1994. Their only regret is that they didn’t complete the task. The RPF/A was the impediment to completing that task which is why it’s path to reaching this objective is to defeat the ruling RPF that stoped the genocide.

In the view of FDLR, as long as the RPF is strong, the objective of uprooting the Tutsi will not be achieved.

“As long as FDLR thinks this way, it inadvertently recruits support to the RPF since Rwandans do not want to return to politics of ethnic animosity,” Rugira notes.

Meanwhile, for DRC government to claim that FDLR are refugees in DRC is to assert that there is no military outfit called the FDLR operating on Congolese soil and only those on the lunatic fringe can make such a wild claim.

The criminal ideology also serves as a toxic environment for the offspring.

Even those who seek to dissociate themselves from the criminality are often held captive as human shield and offspring who have dared to do this have been killed or have their lives threatened.

Even Congolese have been used as human shields and forced to labor for the FDLR.

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