25 November 2009

Congo and Rwanda still smoldering... with ammo

The long-simmering tribal border wars are still smoldering, and the weapons aren't being gathered as they should.

Rwandan Hutu rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have thwarted UN-led attempts to disarm them militarily and global action is needed to cut off their financing, UN experts say.
In a major report for the United Nations Security Council, unpublished but seen by AFP, researchers said this year's attempts by Congolese, Rwandan and UN forces to disarm FDLR fighters in eastern DR Congo have failed.
'This report concludes that military operations against the FDLR have failed to dismantle the organisation's political and military structures on the ground in eastern DRC,' the detailed 93-page document begins.
The report alleges that the FDLR recruits and arms fighters using profits from a corrupt international trade in minerals, and calls on the international community to step up efforts to cut off rebel funds.
The militia sprang up in camps in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) housing mainly ethnic Hutu refugees who fled Rwanda after their leaders launched the 1994 genocide, which left some 800,000 people dead.
The campaign has been undermined by corruption and brutality within the official Congolese armed forces and by the FDLR's ability to fund its campaigns through the international mineral trade, it says.

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By: Brant

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