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Revealed: aging or injured FDLR terrorist leaders set to retire, settle in Uganda

By Moses Gisa

An FDLR militia in the Congo.

A conflict between aging FDLR commanders and the younger generation threatens to tear up the terror organization. Consequently, according to sources, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has stepped in to offer a solution that preserves the terror entity and prevent it from disintegration.

It is the option of retiring to uganda for the FDLR old guard, which is an underhanded offer by Museveni who is keen to save the group, one of his anti- Rwanda proxies. “Rather than see FDLR torn apart by internal wrangles, better offer safe, comfortable retirement to the old guard,” said a person familiar with this thinking.

Read: Discord in FDLR over supremacy battles, betrayal

A meeting of the FDLR has resolved to do just this: retire its aging and crippled fighters and send them to Uganda, according to highly reliable sources. The decision was reached in the meeting held last Saturday, May 30, at Makomarehe, Rutshuru Zone in North Kivu Province where FDLR is headquartered.

The members who are set to relocate to Uganda include the FDLR head “Lt. Gen.” Iyamuremye Gaston alias Byiringiro (also known as Victor Rumuri), “Gen.” Bunane Bonaventure alias Busogo, “Senior Military Advisor”, and “Gen.” BGD Hatunguramye Esidras alias Kalebu, head of the FDLR court. The list also includes “Gen.” Poete, “Gen.” Matovu, “Gen.” Ndikunkiko Innocent alias Gicumba, the former commandant of ESM (formerly Rwanda Military College during the Habyarimana regime). Additionally there is “Col.” Binego who has been in charge of militias’ welfare and several junior combatants.

President Museveni’s move to welcome FDLR old combatants is a manifest of Uganda’s support to anti-Rwanda schemes. If Museveni was really determined to normalize relations with Rwanda, this was an opportunity to walk the talk.

“It’s high time Museveni divorces his longtime marriage with FDLR. He should change tack and extradite those old combatants to Rwanda to face justice for their Genocide crimes. Welcoming them to his country proves his support to criminals in evading justice,” an analyst commented.

Power wrangles are currently roiling the terror outfit, with “Gen.” Byiringiro in fear that Omega is “planning a coup” against him.

Read: FLN militia group ‘on verge of collapse’ with no head

It is said moves are afoot to replace him with Nsanzimihigo Cyrille alias Henganze, current “head of intelligence”. The new generation can only take over the terror group’s leadership if Byiringiro accepts the retirement deal – meaning, “to go away”, according to our source. On the other hand, watchers of terrorist movements in the region say, the fact that “FDLR has a mechanism for retiring is something damaging to the group!”

But a history of former terrorists opting to voluntarily demobilize shows any FDLR member – an outfit that’s in disarray having suffered heavy military losses over the past several months – can safely return home, and be re-integrated in society. They also have the option of facing justice, but for their hard-core extremism many forego returning home. FDLR, an offshoot of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias that were the main perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi is driven by a genocide ideology that, all reports indicate, is becoming extinct in Rwanda.

But its members seem certain the Ugandan regime will always welcome them. “The fact that Uganda is going to give the old FDLR genocidaire a retirement home is just one more confirmation of where Uganda’s sympathies lie,” said a Kigali-based analyst. Furthermore, he points out, for Uganda to agree to offer these people – who are complicit in crimes against humanity – a retirement home “is another way Kampala is facilitating the evasion of justice.”

Former FDRL spokesperson Ignace Nkaka alias LaForge Fils Bazeye, and former intelligence chief Jean Pierre Nsekanabo alias Theophile Abega were arrested at Bunagana, Uganda DRC border, on 15 December 2018. They were on their way back from Serena Hotel Kampala, where they attended a “strategic meeting” with senior RNC agents coordinated by Ugandan State Minister for Regional Cooperation Philemon Mateke.

During that meeting Mateke – who was acting on instructions from his boss the Ugandan president – urged “closer cooperation” between FDLR and RNC in the mutual goal of fighting Rwanda. The terror suspects have been telling everything about Mateke’s (and Uganda’s) involvement in plots to destabilize Rwanda.

Uganda has for a long time been a safe haven for genocidaires. Museveni’s government has been helping genocide criminals to escape justice by harboring them and issuing diplomatic passports to facilitating their movements. It is the same events that Ignace Murwanashyaka, FDLR founder, former president and Felicien Kabuga, Tutsi Genocide Chief Financier were given Ugandan passports. The former was issued with a Ugandan passport to facilitate his travel to Germany where he was convicted for terrorism before meeting his death in April last year.

Currently Uganda hosts over 250 Rwandan genocide suspects.

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