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The East African : June 9th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS JUNE 7-13,2014 LOW RANKING COMBATANTS SURRENDERED Confusion clouds reports of FDLR ‘surrender’ The ≥ebels we≥e supposed to have laid down thei≥ a≥ms on May 30 A JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican The eradication of the FLDR rebels could end the bad blood between President Kagame and his Tanzanian counterpart. for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) had agreed to surrender was followedby confusion over how many rebels and of what rank had given themselves up. The surrender of FDLR fight- T ers was announced by the executive secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Prof Ntumba Luaba, on May 29. He said the rebels had agreed to lay down their weapons on May 30, at Baleusa in North Kivu Province and Lubumba in South Kivu Province. The surrender was to be co- ordinated by the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), representatives of the Southern African Development Community and the UN Mission in Congo, Monusco, which receives surrendering armed he announcement last week that the Democratic Forces elements from multiple rebel groups in eastern Congo under its voluntary Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration programme. It was bound to be a major development that would impact relations between DRC and Rwanda on the one hand, and Rwanda and Tanzania on the other. But on June 1, special envoys from the international community issued a joint statement saying no surrender had taken place in South Kivu and that “up until now, an insignificant number of low ranking combatants surrendered in North Kivu.” However, according to Mac- donald Mwakasendile, communications officer at the ICGLR Secretariat, 105 members of FDLR surrendered in North Kivu and arrangements are being made to receive others surrendering in South Kivu. This development has been linked to political tensions in the DRC arising from the failure to set a date for the presidential elections. The plan is being set back by unexplained delays. The surrendering soldiers have the option of returning to Rwanda through the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reinsertion, Reintegration, Reinstallation process programme, through the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reinsertion, Reintegration, Reinstallation programme, or go to any other country. The eradication of the FDLR rebels could end the bad blood between President Paul Kagame and his Tanzanian counterpart, Jakaya Kikwete. In May last year, President Kikwete caused a major diplomatic rift with Kigali when he advised President Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni to initiate talks with armed rebel movements operating in eastern DRC in order to achieve a durable peace in the Great Lakes region. Both Kigali and Kampala — which is facing opposition from the Allied Democratic ForcesNational Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) based in DRC — maintained that they will never open talks with the rebels. Reported by Gaaki Kigambi, Fred Oluoch and Emmanuel Rutayisire FDLR rebels in a forest outside Pinga, 150km northwest of Goma. Some of them are said to have surrendered. Picture: File 11 ELECTIONS Kinshasa still remains the focus of Western diplomats since failure to set a date for the presidential polls has reinforced existing concerns that President Joseph Kabila intends to tinker with the constitution and contest for a third term when his second and last term ends in 2016. Five special envoys attached to the Great Lakes Region challenged President Kabila to come clean about his intentions, which Kinshasa termed as meddling in its internal affairs.
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June 16th 2014