Rwanda: The War Moves To Congo


August 11, 2009: The Burundian government is attempting to consolidate refugee camps. Burundi, which is at the moment accepting Burundian refugees returning from Tanzania, has at least 30,000 refugees, the majority from the Congo. The government, with aid from the UNHCR, is moving 2,500 Congolese refugees to a camp in Ruyigi province (eastern Burundi). Many of the refugees are Congolese Tutsis.

July 27, 2009: Rwanda announced that it is considering future joint military operations with the Congolese government. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR, a radical Hutu organization) is in the process of reconstituting its militia forces in the Congo. A Rwandan senior leader said that the military operations could be launched "on short notice."

July 26, 2009: The whereabouts of former rebel Congolese leader, General Laurent Nkunda, are a subject of conjecture in both Rwanda and Congo. Officially Nkunda is under arrest in Rwanda. Nkunda was arrested in January 2009 when Rwandan military forces entered the Congo and conducted a joint operation against the FDLR.

July 21, 2009: Rwanda and Congo have decided to continue to improve political ties. The process began with the joint operation earlier this year against the Rwandan Hutu-led Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Rwanda and Congo have upgraded diplomatic ties (exchanged ambassadors) and are exploring ways to improve economic cooperation. The countries have been enemies since the mid-1990s. One of the issues the two countries intend to address is the FDLR, which continues to attack Congolese civilians.

July 14, 2009: The UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) continues its dismal job of investigating the 1994 genocide and trying accused mass murderers. The court has convicted a major political figure in the genocide, Tharcisse Renzaho. Renzaho (governor of the Kigali district in 1994). He received a life sentence on five capital counts (including genocide and two counts of murder).

July 1, 2009: Burundi is upgrading its police weapons depots and storage facilities. During the long civil war, guerrillas frequently struck police stations. Killing police was one goal but obtaining weapons was usually the primary objective. 



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