1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. DRC

Tables turn as rebel faction declares support for army

A temporary refugee camp in Ishasha town in western Uganda. Thousands of refuges have fled violence in eastern DRC; an estimated 7,000 have crossed into Uganda
(Glenna Gordon/IRIN)

A rebel splinter group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said it is ready to back joint operations planned by the governments of DRC and Rwanda against Rwandan Hutu insurgents based in the Kivu provinces.



The self-styled new leader of the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), Desiré Kamanzi, also said he would not recognise the outcome of ceasefire negotiations in the Kenyan capital between the DRC government and the main CNDP wing led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda.



Nkunda’s wing has dismissed the change of leadership, insisting it was still in charge of the movement and that the man who mounted the “ouster”, International Criminal Court war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda, would face disciplinary proceedings.



"These Nairobi talks simply don't concern us, but we are ready to back the two governments, who have decided to go after the FDLR," said Kamanzi, referring to the Forces Démocratique pour la libération de Rwanda.



"Since 4 January any decision taken previously by the deposed leader is null and void," said Kamanzi.



“We don't recognise the Nairobi matters because the government is dealing with a delegation we don't recognise. But we demand that a body be instituted so that we can agree upon delegates and issues for negotiation with the government," he added.



According to Rwanda’s army spokesman, joint military operations against the FDLR were imminent.



"The two Force commanders [Rwanda and DRC] endorsed the plan, which implies that its implementation takes immediate effect," explained Maj Jill Rutaremara in the New Times, which is close to the government in Kigali.



Rwanda’s Chief of Defence Staff, General James Kabarebe, was in Kinshasa in early January and met DRC President Joseph Kabila and UN mediator Olusegun Obasanjo.



Bertrand Bisimwa, spokesman for the CNDP wing still loyal to Nkunda, said from Nairobi that conditions on the ground in eastern DRC remained volatile.



"There are 700 heavily armed militia from the FDLR, supported by government troops and Congolese Resistance Patriots dressed in regular army fatigues rising up to prepare an offensive against CNDP positions” around Kikuku, about 130km north of Goma, he said.



ei/dmc/am/mw


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join