By Moses Gisa
Terrorist FDLR militias have killed two unarmed civilians and injured tens of others in an attack on Lulenge Village, Fizi Region in South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For over two decades now FDLR, the offshoot group of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias that were the main perpetrators of the 94 Genocide against the Tutsi have massacred thousands of innocent Congolese, plundered mineral resources, raped women, and recruited children into their militia group in the mineral-rich country.
In recent years, however, it has become a matter of international concern when it was discovered that Kampala had become a proxy backer of the terror group, even as its atrocities mounted in Congo.
Following the recent incident, Lulenge Sector Chief Samuel Mulumba condemned the armed attack while appealing for support to have the group rooted out of Congolese territories. “Lulenge Sector has become a new sanctuary of armed groups, citizens live in fear, farmers are stuck in their homes, they can’t even venture out, and business activities are on standstill! We call upon the national army, FARDC, to disband this group and repatriate its members to their home country,” Mulumba appealed.
The recent military attacks on illegal armed groups operating on Congolese soil have left FDLR weakened, and most of its strongholds captured. “So maybe Mulumba is not appealing for nothing; there has been noticeable change recently from the times FDLR and militia violent groups used to kill, rape, loot and kill with impunity,” said a security observer.
FDLR has always used women and children as a shields from reprisal attacks, which has made it a challenge as far as dismantling and disarming the terror group is concerned. “Whenever FARDC attacks FDLR bases, the militias put women and children on the frontline; in such circumstances, the army cannot advance, which has become a serious impediment in the fight against this terror group,” said George Musinga, a political observer. But with a weakening FDLR, even this won’t work much longer, he commented.
FDLR, formerly ALIR, is an internationally blacklisted terror group, as far away as the US Department of State.
After it killed 8 foreign tourists in Bwindi Forest in March 2017, the International Community took serious note, and many of its leaders were put on sanctions, and international arrest warrants slapped on them.
However, governments like Uganda’s kept facilitating their movements, mostly by issuing them passports under pseudonyms.
The day is coming, however, when FDLR officials have nowhere to hide, except in Uganda, an observer said. “Their days in Congo are surely coming to an end!” said Musinga, a political analyst.