The U.S. envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region, Russ Feingold, called upon the military of the D.R.C. and U.N. peacekeepers – MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) to launch an offensive against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu militia group. The group has been known to have committed atrocities in the eastern Congo, and is a threat to regional stability. Moreover, in an extended amnesty period, only 150 fighters of approximately 1,400 have surrendered.
Special Envoy Feingold publically announced a policy change to neutralize the FDLR. He spoke:
So, moving forward, we cannot continue to wait for the FDLR to voluntarily surrender, as the group has clearly demonstrated over the past six months that a purely voluntary surrender process will not work to end the threat from this illegitimate armed group. Instead, military action must be undertaken to pressure the FDLR to lay down its arms. Any delay in military operations by the DRC military and MONUSCO after January 2nd will play into the FDLR’s hands and only serve to enable the group to continue to commit human rights abuses and prey upon the civilian population in the eastern DRC.
Thus, there may be an impeding rumble in the jungle in the eastern Congo between U.N. peacekeepers and DRC troops against the FDLR.
Read more at:
AllAfrica. “Congo-Kinshasa: Telephonic Media Briefing With Special Envoy Russell Feingold.” December 30, 2014.
Reuters. “U.S. envoy urges military action against Congo rebel group.” December 30, 2014.
WSJ. “U.S. Envoy Urges U.N., Congolese Military Action Against Rwandan Rebels.” December 30, 2014.