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HRW: Rwandan Rebels Slaughter Over 100 Civilians

February 13, 2009

HRW informs today that  the FDLR slaughtered at least 100 Congolese civilians in the Kivus between January 20 and February 8, 2009.

In Remeka village in Ufamandu, the FDLR rebels called a meeting at which they accused the population, local leaders and the Mai Mai armed group with whom they had been allied, of having betrayed them. A local resident present at the meeting said the FDLR told residents they would not be allowed to leave and that they were “sharpening their spears and machetes.” Another said, “The FDLR told us that if they were shot at by anyone that they would hold us responsible and kill us.”

Following the meeting, the FDLR erected barriers to prevent people from fleeing. When some tried to flee, the FDLR attacked them, killing dozens with guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and machetes. “As I ran, I saw bodies everywhere – men, women and children,” said one witness. “They had all been killed by the FDLR.”

FDLR combatants also raped more than a dozen women whom they accused of having joined the government side against them. For instance, in southern Masisi territory (North Kivu), on January 27, FDLR combatants raped and killed a woman and then raped her 9-year-old daughter.

The message given at the Remeka meeting was repeated in a letter sent from the FDLR to the governor of South Kivu in early February. In the letter, the group warned that if the local population collaborated with the Rwandan army they would be considered the FDLR’s “mortal enemy” and treated as a “belligerent party.”

Read the full text here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2009 9:33 pm

    So, let me see: The UN won’t work, joint Rwandan/DRC actions won’t work, all sides commit war crimes. Can we at least find out what’s really going on?

    • Blog admin permalink*
      February 14, 2009 7:22 am

      The UN will support a little, and joint Rwandan/DRC actions may work from a military point of view. No one knows the future in the medium term.

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