FDLR: BUREAU DU PRESIDENT / OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
His Excellency Mr. Ban KI-MOON, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN)
Her Excellency Madame Sylvie LUCAS, Chairperson of the UN Security Council;
His Excellency Mr. Donald TUSK, Chairperson of the European Union Council;
His Excellency Mr. Jean-Claude JUNCKER, Chairperson of the European Union Commission;
His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Abdel AZZIZ, President of the Republic of MAURITANIA and current Chairperson of the African Union (AU);
His Excellency Mr. François Hollande, President of the Republic of France
Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini ZUMA, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
His Excellency Mr. Robert MUGABE, President of the Republic of ZIMBABWE and Chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC);
His Excellency Mr. José Eduardo DOS SANTOS, President of the Republic of ANGOLA and Chairperson of International Conference for the African Great Lakes Region;
His Excellency Mr. Uhuru KENYATTA, President of the Republic of KENYA and Chairperson of the East African Community;
His Excellency Mr. Joseph KABILA KABANGE, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC);
His Excellency Mr. Jacob ZUMA, President of the Republic of South Africa;
His Excellency Mr. Jakaya M. KIKWETE, President of the United Republic of TANZANIA;
His Excellency Mr. Vladimir PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation.
His Excellency Mr. Barack OBAMA, President of the United States of America.
His Excellency Mr. Xi JINPING, President of the People’s Republic of China.
His Excellency Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
RE: FDLR’ INVITATION TO WITNESS AN EVENT OF LAYING DOWN ITS WEAPONS: 2ND CONTIGENT ON DECEMBER 28, 2014.
The present letter is an open invitation, particularly addressed to Your Excellencies, to the international community and the media in general, to come and witness the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR)’s event of laying down weapons and commit its ex-combatants together with their respective dependents, as a new contingent to be cantoned at both Kanyabayonga and Walungu sites, while awaiting to be moved to Kisangani Transit Camp.
Actually, as a matter of fact, the event in question is scheduled on December 28, 2014 in BULEUSA in North KIVU, and in KALALA in South KIVU, as FDLR would like once more to explicitly manifest to the whole International Community, its heartfelt and genuine both commitment and determination to materialize the non-armed political struggle, as unilaterally embarked on since December 30, 2013, until all current Rwandan refugees are voluntary repatriated, back to Rwanda, their motherland, through an inter-Rwandan political dialogue, highly inclusive, between current Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF)/KAGAME regime and FDLR/ Rwandan Political Opposition.
Please be kindly advised of the following:
- We, the FDLR, have stated our commitment to disarm and continue our struggle through political means and have requested the United Nations (U.N), the European Union (E.U), the African Union (A.U), the South African Development Community (SADC), the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and all African Heads of States, more particularly His Excellency Joseph KABILA, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), His Excellency Eduardo Dos SANTOS, President of Angola, His Excellency Jacob ZUMA, President of South Africa, His Excellency Robert MUGABE, President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Uhuru KENYATTA, President of Kenya and His Excellency Jakaya M. KIKWETE, President of Tanzania, to understand, to assist, to support and to go along with us, the FDLR, to the implementation of our commitment to this noble and sustainable peace process initiative.
- Faithful to our commitment, we the FDLR have taken actions and concrete steps towards advancing this peaceful process, particularly since May 30, 2014. Despite our renewed sincerity and goodwill, the FDLR regrettably note that our offer seems neither to have received a favorable echo nor to have been appreciated, given various recorded difficulties. Among these difficulties, one may mention: the entertained confusion by some actors and stakeholders between the FDLR’s peace commitment and the MONUSCO Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reinsertion, and Reintegration (DDRRR) program, on the one hand, and the lack of international pressure on current RPF regime to open a free and secure political space in Rwanda, and engage in political dialogue with all current Rwandan political opposition including the FDLR on the other hand. Following these concerns, the FDLR deem appropriate to emphasize on their peace initiative for better understanding on which depends its successful completion.
- There are more than 200,000 Rwandan refugees that have been miraculously surviving within the dense forests of the DRC, as they have been abandoned by the international community and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to their own fate for more than two decades now and along with other Rwandan refugees scattered around the world. They have one desire: to return back to Rwanda, their homeland, through a negotiated political settlement, instead of being resettled in third countries. The desired political dialogue and voluntary repatriation are anticipated to lead to the definitive restoration of peace, stability and prosperity within the countries of the Great Lakes Region in general, and in Rwanda, our motherland in particular.
- According to the roadmap to FDLR unilateral and voluntary disarmament and cantonment, from April 01st to May 30th, 2014, the preparation for cantonment of the combatants at KATIGU in North Kivu was conducted. Prior to this preparation, the FDLR have sent an invitation to the International Community to witness the voluntary disarming and handing weapons over to SADC on April 18th, 2014. The preparation was witnessed by Feller LUTAICHILWA, Premier of North Kivu Province; Mark POWER, UK Representative, Thomas LYNCH, from the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy in the Great Lakes Region’s Office, Jane Alison PORTER, from the European Union, Colonel Temporel, French Military Attaché, Anton JONGENNEL, Chief of Political Bureau/US Embassy, Lt Colonel Mandjani OMARI, SADC Representative. The ceremony was conducted by Major General Victor BYIRINGIRO, FDLR’s Acting President. In their speeches, the imminent personalities representing the international community promised to promote the FDLR’s noble cause. However, the United Nations’ support has been brilliantly lacking in various aspects.
- On June 09, 2014: Ceremony of the first contingent to KIGOGO, South Kivu in the presence of the International community and local and international Media; 83 fighters laid down their weapons, and with their 234 dependents, they were moved to WALUNGU;
- On June 28, 2014: Only 128 of the 500 dependents who had been waiting since June 25th have been taken and sent to KANYABAYONGA cantonment site, in North Kivu. To that number, 94 additional dependents arrived at KANYABAYONGA on their own.
- Between August the 1st and the 2nd, 2014, FDLR’s combatants, candidates for the second contingent in North Kivu, had to return back to their initial dwelling places, as not only there had been no official from the MONUSCO or from the DRC Authorities to take care of them, but also there was no enough physical space to accommodate and host them within KANYABAYONGA site. It should be noted that it has been allegedly reported to be overcrowded.
- From 27th, November, 2014, some FDLR combatants along with their families were relocated at the KISANGANI Transit Centre. In our memorandum dated 4th November 2014, we have expressed our deep concern that the Kisangani Transit Centre cannot accommodate all FDLR’s combatants and their respective dependents. Not only its expansion is urgently needed but also reliable provision of basic needs (among others daily hygiene needs and care, water and sanitation, enough food, clothing, adequate shelter, medical care and education for school-age children) should be unconditionally supplied during the duration of the transitional period. Unfortunately, these very basic needs have been critically lacking so far.
While we convey to you FDLR’s best wishes for the current festive season, we would love to humbly take the liberty to reassure you once more, that we, the FDLR, are more than ever determined to go through with the present peace process, and hope that for the present time, our voice will be heard, understood, supported and receive the attention it deserves, so that Rwandan peoples as a Nation in general, and current Rwandan refugees in DRC in particular, who have been longing to voluntary repatriate to their cherished motherland, are not disappointed once again.
We, the FDLR are convinced that what has been possible elsewhere in Africa, such as in South Africa, in Burundi, in Sudan, in DRC, in Mozambique, etc. meaning a peacefully conflicts resolving through political means, is also possible for Rwandans, more precisely for Rwanda under Kagame’s RPF regime. It is a matter of political will. For this purpose, it is time for the International Community to take responsibilities and seriously supportive action and put an end to its current approach and behavior of the double standards.
Peace to all of us.
Done at Walikale, DRC, on 23rd December, 2014
Major-General Victor BYIRINGIRO,
-His Excellency Paul KAGAME, President of Rwanda,
-His Excellency Yoweri MUSEVENI, President of Uganda,
-Hon. Russel FEINGOLD, U.S Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region,
-Hon. Ambassador Saïd Djinnit, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) for the Great Lakes Region,
-Hon. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.
-Hon. Ntsiki Mashimbye, South Africa’s Ambassador in Kinshasa -DRC
-Hon. Georges Rebelo Chicoti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola,
-Honorable Simbarashe S. Mumbengegwi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe,
-Honorable Mr. David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security of the Republic of South Africa, Current Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation;
– Hon. Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, AU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region,
-Hon. Professor Ntumba Luaba, Executive Secretary of the ICGLR,
– Hon. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC.
-Hon. Mr. Kobler Martin, The head of MONUSCO
– Hon. Mr. Feller Lutaichilwa
– Hon. Mr. Mark Power UK
– Hon. Mr. Thomas Lynch
– Hon. Jane Alison Porter
– Hon. Colonel Temporel
– Hon. Mr. Anton Jongennel
– Hon. Lt Colonel Mandjani Omari
– Cosmas Nkhara BAHALI Director Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS)