Rwanda: A Glimpse at Anti-Rwanda Militia Groups in Eastern DR Congo

10 December 2019

The negative forces of Rwandan origin that are based in eastern DR Congo primarily sprouted from the forces and militia groups that crossed into DR Congo from Rwanda after participating in the slaughter of more than a million people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Soon after fleeing into eastern DR Congo, then Zaire, the genocidal army and its militia network regrouped and formed, in the late 1990s, what was then called the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALiR).

The FDLR

In 2000, ALiR agreed to merge with another extremist group then based in the Congolese capital Kinshasa and formed FDLR.

Its armed wing, the Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FOCA), still exists. But its former supremo, 'Gen' Sylvestre Mudacumura, alias Bernard Mupenzi, was gunned down by Congolese forces in September, dealing a huge blow to the group which is mainly based in the Rutchuru territory of North Kivu Province.

After Mudacumura's demise, the militia is now led by 'Maj Gen' Pacifique Ntawunguka alias Omega, and deputised by Brig Gen Cyprien Uzabakiriho.

RUD-Urunana

One of the main FDLR splinters is RUD-Urunana. It was, as of recent, led by Juvénal Musabyimana, alias Jean Michel Africa, who was killed recently. The group is now led by 'Brig Gen' Léon Mpirinya alias Kagoma, and deputised by 'Col' Emmanuel Rugema.

It is reported that RUD-Urunana was created by Uganda's intelligence specifically to destabilize Rwanda. The group has ties with 'Capt' Faustin Ntilikina, an FDU-Inkingi member and ex-FAR now living in exile in France, among others.

FPP

FPP (Force pour la Protection du Peuple) based in Binza, North Kivu is led by 'Col' Dan Hategekimana. His deputy is called 'Lt Col' Gasiga.

RUD-Urunana and FPP strongholds are located on the border with neighbouring Uganda and regularly get their supplies from the latter.

CNRD

The CNRD parted ways with FDLR in 2016. The group is led by former FDLR vice president 'Lt Gen' Laurent Ndagijimana, alias, Wilson Irategeka or Lumbago. FLN, their military wing, is led by 'Lt Gen' Habimana Hamada.

The P5 coalition

South Africa-based fugitive Kayumba Nyamwasa is the leader of a group known as "P5", which operates in DR Congo's South Kivu province, according to a UN experts' report released in December 2018.

It is largely a political platform of the RNC, Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire's FDU-Inkingi, Bernard Ntaganda's PS-Imberakuri, PDP-Imanzi of Deo Mushayidi (now in prison in Rwanda) and Amahoro People's Congress (Amahoro-PC) of Etienne Masozera, who is based in Canada.

In July 2016, Rudasingwa formed a breakaway faction called the "New RNC". That same year, Callixte Sabimana, the former spokesperson of FLN who is now on trial in Rwanda on terrorism charges, formed a breakaway faction called RRM which also later joined the MRCD Ubumwe political platform led by, among others, Belgium-based Faustin Twagiramungu, and Paul Rusesabagina.

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