By Fred Gashema
Ongoing operations by the Congo military (FARDC) to eradicate illegal armed groups from its territory continue to gather momentum with the killing last Saturday of one Jean Marie Vianney Nyawenda, “Secretary-General” of the anti-Rwanda terrorist group CNRD-Ubwiyunge, who died along with thirty of the group’s fighters in the Itombwe Mountains of Fizi, South Kivu Province.
The same operation led to the capture of “Col” Donat Bazamanza aka “Chairman” in Kalehe Territory. Bazamanza served as head of political affairs (G5) in the terror outfit. The developments are part of the ongoing crackdown to rout all foreign armed rebel or militia groups based in Congo that include anti-Rwanda terrorist groups which are the main source of instability in the region.
According to knowledgeable sources, FARDC had clashed with the remnants of CNRD that currently dwell in bushes, but masquerade as ordinary Congolese citizens within various vicinities. They have been spooked following routs by the government’s forces that saw over 2000 rebel fighters and their dependents captured and repatriated to Rwanda in mid-December 2019. A number of members of the terrorist group including its president, “Lt. Gen.” Laurent Ndagijimana alias Wilson Irategeka Rumbago were killed on spot.
“Nyawenda, Bazamanza and other slain fighters were part of those that had survived earlier attacks by Congolese army under the Zokola 1 operations in 2019,” a knowledgeable source told us, adding, “FARDC has never ceased as it is currently busy cleaning those remnants, and all the efforts invested in the operations are paying off.”
Meanwhile the CNRD fighters that survived the FARDC attacks – which saw the their Secretary General killed along with dozens of their fellows in addition to their head of G5 being captured – were quick to turn against each other. They killed “Maj.” Ngarama Bahati, one of their military operations commanders, accusing him of betraying those that had been killed or captured.
CNRD was part of a coalition of anti-Rwanda forces, the MRCD-Ubumwe whose “core mission” is to violently topple the current Rwanda government. CNRD was, in June this year, expelled from the coalition over allegedly embezzling $150,000 that was raised by terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina, the then president of the coalition, as a budget to facilitate their activities.
It was later ascertained that the money vanished into the pockets of CNRD’s top commanders that include “Brig. Gen.” Antoine Hakizimana, alias Jeva, which led one “Col.” Alex Rusanganwa alias Guado to defect and form his own breakaway group.
According to observers, one can’t be wrong in saying that CNRD is reaching its end, “given the number of its fighters and top commanders that were either killed or captured and repatriated to Rwanda ever since FARDC kicked off its operations against illegal armed groups on its territory,” noted a security analyst.
“Another reason CNRD is reaching its end is internal wrangles within its remnants; with individuals turning against each other in a spate of mutual suspicions that are even making them kill each other,” he added.