News of Rwanda (Kigali)

18 December 2012

Rwanda: 6,000 Rebels Preparing Offensive

A classified United Nations document says the FDLR militia is amassing troops - with some from Zambia and Congo Brazzaville in preparation for an attack on Rwanda. To complicate the situation, the DRC government is reportedly aware of the FDLR movements.

The document with reference number CLA-MP-94/12-12 dated December 17 was prepared by MONUSCO for internal consumption. It reads in part: "Reliable sources (humanitarian workers) has reported to MONUSCO's component on 16th Dec 12 about the presence of 4000 FDLR cadres at Kazibake..., Groupement of Bashali Mokoto, Localité Lukweti/Ndurumo."

The leaked two-page intelligence report says MONUSCO has information that some of the 4,000 militia recruits - which the document called "FDLR cadres" have been brought in from Zambia. These new rebels arrived at their current location on 13th Dec 2012.

In other developments, "a new FDLR commander named BAKOTA based at Kivuye... has been stated to have come from Brazza-Ville," says the document.

So why is the FDLR militia, which the UN itself has over the years said that its numbers have gone down completely, suddenly getting new recruits and moving freely? This classified report says FDLR are taking advantage of the current situation in eastern DRC to establish operational bases in "the Virunga Park (Kinigi sector) inside Rwanda."

In addition to these new 4,000 mobilized troops, this UN document says FDLR already has another 2,000 "previously located at Nganga (HQ of the FDLR president and supreme commander), Mumo, Hembe, Nyagisozi, Macumbi..."

MONUSCO helicopters?

What is strange from this document is that MONUSCO troops are located with proximity of the areas where the new FDLR troops are being organized. The document also says "two white painted helicopters" have been seen on several occasions in the past days flying into and out of this new FDLR regroupment locality.

Here is how the report speaks about the helicopters:

"Note: The weather during the day the helicopters were reportedly flying was rainy and cloudy, fact that did not enable UN members deployed at Mpati to view, hear and identify such non-UN helicopters having flown in our area of responsibility."

"Analysis: The information on both presence of these FDLR cadres and helicopters flights do constitute a certain reality as the flights might have supplied the combatants with logistic support, while we do foresee more movements and activities to occur in the near future in view of expeditions on Rwandan soil, rotations, protection of both dependents and their political wing gathered around the CEN/Comité Exécutif National where their commissioners often rule, protection of the Groupement des Ecoles(senior, cadet and non-commissioned officers academy school) and training sites (kindly refer to my latest update of FDLR-FOCA chart and reorganization)."

As for what MONUSCO plans to do in the face of these new developments, the 19,000 strong force only intend to do patrols.

"Intensification of patrols to Nyange- Kitso- Bibwe stretch to dominate the area while monitoring related FDLR activities," say the UN peacekeepers.

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