2 December 2010

Rwanda: FDLR in Nuclear Material Deals

Kigali — A United Nations Investigative Report in the DRC has unearthed information that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels possess large portions of the deadly Uranium, which they have since failed to sell.

The report, released by UN investigators, this week, indicates that the FDLR rebels, mainly Ex-FAR genocidal forces, are stuck with hundreds of kilograms of Uranium, a mineral used to make nuclear weapons, which they have failed to sell for the last 2 years.

According to the report, the rebels have been trying to sell the deadly mineral on the black market.

UN experts revealed that the FDLR rebels discovered a deposit of precious minerals, which included six 70-kg canisters of uranium in Walikale territory of eastern DRC, after a tip-off by local chiefs.

The minerals were found in 2008 in a hidden underground vault.

The UN investigators say Sylvestre Mudacumura, the FDLR High Commander General tried to sell the Uranium through "his long-time business associate, Evariste Shamamba, of Établissement Namukaya".

"Établissement Namukaya subsequently held the canister for over a year without finding a buyer, and it was eventually returned to a pastor living in Kalehe," reads the report released Monday to the UN Security Council.

The investigators describe the material as "un-enriched uranium" - meaning it cannot be used to make nuclear bombs in its current form. The amount would not be enough to create even a small amount of fissile material, said the UN team.

Since the FDLR - through their contacts could not find a buyer for more than a year, they gave up, suggesting they are still in possession of some of the mineral.

The report also noted that joint Rwanda-DR Congo military operations have pushed the rebels out of the known mines, but the rebels have moved into mines in far rural areas.

The UN experts said they had given Interpol details of the attempted trade as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been monitoring illicit traffic from DRCs Katanga Province, where there are Uranium deposits.

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