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ICG: Congo: A Comprehensive Strategy to Disarm the FDLR

Author: International Crisis Group
July 9, 2009


This International Crisis Group report examines the failed attempts of the past to dismantle the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)--an insurgency with roots that go back to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda--and recommends a new approach to help end great civilian suffering and restore state authority in the eastern Congo.

The joint Congo (DRC)-Rwanda military push against the Rwandan Hutu rebels has ended with scant results. Fifteen years after the Rwandan genocide and the establishment of those rebels in the eastern Congo, they have not yet been disarmed and remain a source of extreme violence against civilians. While they are militarily too weak to destabilise Rwanda, their 6,000 or more combatants, including a number of génocidaires, still present a major political challenge for consolidation of peace in the Great Lakes region. They must be disarmed and demobilised if the eastern Congo is to be stabilised.

That requires a new comprehensive strategy involving national, regional and international actors, with a clear division of labour and better coordination, so as to take advantage of the recent improvement of relations between the Congo and Rwanda, put an end to the enormous civilian suffering and restore state authority in the Congo's eastern provinces.

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