UN peacekeepers are coming under severe criticism for failing to defeat the FDLR (Rwandan Hutu rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) militia. The FDLR has suffered from attacks by the Congolese Army and UN peacekeeping forces, but has managed to keep several hundred fighters in the field. The UN now estimates the FDLR has 1,000 fighters in the field. But the battlefield isn't the only place the UN has failed to implement policies to defeat the FDLR. Several hundred FDLR fighters took advantage of an amnesty program and surrendered. Many surrendered and brought their families with them. The UN would then demobilize the former fighters and repatriate them to Rwanda. The UN and international aid organizations were to provide food and supplies for the camps. However, the defectors have complained that they are starving and have not received the promised aid and care. The demobilization program has also stalled. The FDLR is a radical Hutu rebel group whose founders were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
September 26, 2015: New fighting has erupted in the Central African Republic (CAR) as 21 people were killed in the capital, Bangui. Another 20 were injured. The alleged assassination of a Muslim started a huge street fight which turned into a gun battle. An anti-balaka Christian militia was involved in the incident. September began with the UN and international observers describing the situation in the CAR as slowly improving.
September 25, 2015: In North Kivu province eight people died (three soldiers and five of their wives) and three wounded in an attack on a Congolese Army camp by the FDLR.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged Lords Resistance Army (LRA) senior commander Joseph Kony with 60 new counts of war crimes. The new charges include employing child soldiers and sex slavery. Kony now faces 67 total counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The LRA began as a Ugandan rebel group based in northern Uganda. Several of the new charges relate to attacks conducted by the LRA in October 2003 and June 2004 on four refugee camps in northern Uganda
Unrest continues following an unpopular election in which the president ignored the constitution and ran for a third term. Many believe he seeks to become another African “president for life.” Today gunmen attacked a police post in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura. One attacker was killed by police defending the post. In the past month low-level violence was continued to plague Burundi. A small but steady stream of Burundians continue to flee the country. Tanzania reports 250 to 300 Burundians enter Tanzania every day.
September 24, 2015: Congo and Rwanda have agreed to cooperate to defeat the FDLR. They have agreed to battle the FDLR before. The agreement came after two days of bilateral national security discussions.
September 18, 2015: A senior FDLR commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nibabaza, surrendered with his family. Congolese authorities reported he and his family have been repatriated to Rwanda. Nibabaza left a rebel camp near Wlikale and crossed into Rwanda through the Rubava Congo-Uganda border crossing point.
September 16, 2015: Congolese president Joseph Kabila has kicked seven senior Congolese politicians from his ruling coalition because they wrote Kabila a letter urging him to not run for a third term and to leave office when his current term expires in 2016. Kabila still gives every indication that he will ignore constitutional requirements and seek a third term.
Burundian security forces have arrested over 100 men in Gitega province (central Burundi). The government claimed they were rebel recruits preparing to wage war against the government.
September 15, 2015: 1,000 people in Congo’s capital, Kinshasha, demonstrated against President Joseph Kabila. The demonstrators were protesting Kabila’s plan to seek a third presidential term and remain in power. The constitution prohibits presidents from having more than two terms. Kabila has been in power since 2001.
September 13, 2015: African Union (AU) investigators visited Sudan to investigate allegations that the LRA operates in Sudan. Actually, the allegations involve more than that. The Ugandan government believes Sudan provides aid to the LRA. Uganda and the AU’s anti-LRA coalition believe LRA fighters operate from camps in Sudan’s Darfur region, the CAR and eastern Congo.
September 10, 2015: The UN peacekeepers in Congo currently deploy 19,784 uniformed personnel. This figures breaks down to 18,232 military personnel, 1,090 police and 462 military observers. This force (called MONUSCO) also employs 2,725 local civilians and 840 civilians from other nations.
September 6, 2015: Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed seven civilians in attacks in the Mbau region of North Kivu province. The attack took place in an area where no government troops are deployed. The ADF has killed an estimated 400 people in the last ten months.