By Moses Gahigi
A top member of the FDLR terrorists known by the nickname Col. Bolingo Christophe has been captured by FARDC soldiers. News surfacing only now is that it was on 13 June this year in Kalehe, South Kivu Region, then the FDLR man was nabbed and disarmed. “Col.” Bolingo was arrested together with his escort and three weapons, two AK47s and one PKM riffle, according to highly reliable sources.
Bolingo appears on the list of the most wanted anti-Rwanda terrorists of FDLR still roaming in the jungles of eastern DRC.
According to the coordinator of Kalehe Civil Society, Delphin Birimbi, Col Bolingo, and his escort were intercepted by the Congolese soldiers on patrol in Rutare, Batayo village, in Ziralo, within Kalehe territory. “These rebels were arrested by our soldiers and we are very certain our region will soon be free from armed insurgencies,” said Birimbi. “These elements have been killing our people for decades but their end is very near.”
Among the atrocities Bolingo and his men are known for are killings, looting and rape. The FDLR units he’s led recently assassinated the head teacher of a primary school in Rutare, and a yet to be identified woman. They also abducted a village chief and her aid. “We are convinced that the others will surrender,” said James Musanganya, coordinator of the Kalehe-based Human Rights Protection and Defense Network (RDPH).
In recent times FDLR, FLN, and RNC – all of the “P5 coalition” – have faced very hard times in DRC, suffering a series of military routes in mid 2019 that saw them lose a lot of fighters and territory. “Anti-Rwanda militias faced it particularly rough as they lost their ragtag fighters, and their leaders, the likes of Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura of FDLR, Lt Gen Wilson Niyitegeka of FLN and General Musabyimana Juvenal of RUD-Urunana – have bewn killed.
Between December 2019 and January 2020, DRC has repatriated an estimated 2000 members of the terrorist militia groups and their dependents to Rwanda.
Some of these are people that have committed crimes and atrocities of genocide while very many were involved in different subversive activities against Rwanda.
“But the days of groups like these in DRC are numbered,” remarked an observer.