The New Times (Kigali)

Congo-Kinshasa: Monusco Distances Self From Congo Army, FDLR Alliance Memo

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Congo (Monusco) has described as 'falsification' an internal Monusco document that has circulated in the media, which links top Congolese army (FARDC) commanders in South and North Kivu provinces to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia.

While quoting a leaked January 21 e-mail from Monusco, the New York City- based Inner City Press said United Nations is aware that its partners in FARDC work with the FDLR militia.

Inner City Press reported that the memo, from Monusco's Lt. Col. Rajeev Sharma, G3 Chief Operation Officer in North Kivu, states that the "FDLR battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Ezra Kalebu is reported to be operating in the localities of Kishishi, Kibirizi, Bambo, Mubambiro, Sake, Kiroche, Ishasha and Minova. In all these places, the FDLR has full FARDC backing." The same e-mail states that FDLR are "particularly supported by Brig. Gen. Masunzu, the commander of the FARDC South Kivu military region."

The FDLR is an outfit composed of elements blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

However, in a statement released yesterday, Monusco denounced 'the attempt at misinforming the public'.

"If these media had taken the trouble to verify the information with Monusco, they would have discovered that the document is fabricated. The errors contained in the document would have been brought to their attention, which would have saved them from participating in this venture."

It added, "Monusco condemns the production and dissemination of such false information that can only contribute to an escalation of regional tensions in general and perpetuate the violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo."

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