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Regional countries under UK’ s pressure for desarming FDRL rebels

Regional countries should play their respective roles to ensure that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda ( FDLR ) militia group is annihilated, the UK Government has said.

In a statement released by the British High Commission in Kigali, Britain supported the call on the DRC President Joseph Kabila to ‘swiftly approve’ joint military action against the militia group.

“The UK believes that continued positive DR Congo, Rwandan and regional engagement including in the Peace, Security and Co-operation Framework, will help ensure that all regional countries do what is necessary to bring the FDLR to an end as quickly as possible,” reads part of the statement.

The call reinforces one by the UN Security Council to the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo ( Monusco ) to “ neutralise the group with a long history of heinous crimes in the eastern regions of the vast country.”

This follows the expiry of the six-month deadline given to the militia group by a regional framework under the auspices of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to disarm or face military action.

The deadline expired last Friday, January 2.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Council called on all parties, including troop-contributing countries, “to remain committed to the full implementation of the mission’s mandate, including military action to neutralise the FDLR.”

The troop contributing countries to the Force Intervention Brigade are South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania.

Meanwhile, just as the deadline for the voluntary disarmament of the FDLR expired, South African President, in his capacity as SADC chair, announced a meeting slated for next week in the Angolan Capital Luanda, to decide the next course of action regarding FDLR.

The meeting is, however, seen as “wastage of time and money” by Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, who told The New Times Thursday that the next course of action was clear, a military offensive and there was no reason for the meeting.

“If the concerned countries and Monusco are not ready to take military action, then they should not waste time in endless meetings,” said Mushikiwabo, also the Government Spokesperson.


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