Congo: Rwandan Rebels Refuse to Return Home



Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

February 20, 2007: The likelihood of a confrontation between the army and Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in the eastern Congo has increased dramatically. The FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) as a radical Hutu organization that had not disarmed. FDLR operations have prevented over 25,000 refugees from returning to their homes. Rwandan Hutu radicals are one of the more frustrating problems. Because they are Rwandan they cannot be "integrated" into the Congolese military (which Congolese rebels can). While integration is often a fig leaf, it is still a useful political tool. If the Rwandan Hutus go back to Rwanda they face the guns of the Rwandan military. After that, they face trials for participating in the 1994 genocide. So the Rwandans stay in Congo, and refuse to disarm.

February 17, 2007: Another 200 Pakistani soldiers left Pakistan for duty in the Congo. At the moment the UN has almost 18,000 troops in the Congo.

February 15, 2007: The UN Security Council officially extended the mandate for MONUC, the UN peacekeeping operation in the Congo. The mandate was extended until April 15. The mandate will probably be extended for several months more, but the Security Council is awaiting a report from the Secretary-General (due March 15) on the state of the Congo government and an assessment of UN peacekeeping operations in the country.


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