By Moses Gisa
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) terrorist group is reported to be in disarray, according to reliable sources.
This Sunday, May 31, the FDLR convened a meeting at its headquarters in Parisi, Rutshuru, eastern DRC. The meeting, chaired by its president Lt. Gen. Iyamuremye Gaston alias Byiringiro, brought together Maj. Gen. Pacifique Ntawunguka alias Omega – leader of FDLR-FOCA Abacunguzi (FDLR military wing), and Col. Ruhinda, head of military operations, among others.
The ongoing power struggles within the terror group, wrangles, betrayals and looming breakaways topped the agenda. Gen. Omega has been accused by his boss Byiringiro (who also goes by the names Victor Rumuri) of trying to stage coups against him – accusing Omega for instance of “cutting down the number of escorts, thus putting his life in danger.”
“A serious heated feud has been boiling over between Byiringiro and Omega. They have been accusing each other of betrayals and plotting coups against one another. For instance Omega reduced Byiringiro’s escorts to 35, whilst he increased his to 145 soldiers,” a reliable source from Rutshuru has revealed. “This really angered Byiringiro who suspects that Omega could be plotting to dethrone him.”
The two chief terror chiefs seem to be headed in different directions, according to the source. Gen. Ntawunguka wants to install Nsanzimihigo Cyrille Henganze, current head of intelligence, to replace Lt. Gen. Byiringiro, whom he says is too old and can no longer command and deliver on his mandate,” our source further disclosed.
Gen. Ntawunguka says he wants to bring in the young generation of well-schooled and able-bodied leaders. An apparent consensus has been reached that Nsanzimihigo can do better than the old man. The majority of those in attendance were convinced that Nsanzimihigo will better deliver, stressed our source who talked on condition of anonymity.
The meeting was reported to have grilled Col. Ruhinda over money stolen from the FARDC, the army of DRC. The big FDLR fish were said to have thoroughly grilled the man on accusations of mismanaging the money, “which could have rescued the terror outfit that is faced with a perilous financial crisis.” The meeting also tackled another “pressing issue of insubordination and misconduct between senior and junior combatants.”
Informed observers think this could lead to defections. On the issue of breakaways and imminent alliance with RNC, FLN or RUD-Urunana, FDLR big fish were said to issue “serious threats against those plotting to defect, and cross over to opponents.” The FDLR heads were issuing threats that “such acts of treason are intolerable.” On the other hand, reports are many that demoralizing defeats in recent months have left morale so low that very many are thinking of escape.