Enough Project Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandi Fox, [email protected], 202-478-6325
New Report: UN, US should address FDLR and M23 rebel threats in Congo
A new Enough Project report argues that the United Nations and U.S. government should address regional security threats in Africa's Great Lakes region by working with Congo, Rwanda, and the U.N. Intervention Brigade to contain the rebel groups Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and M23. “Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups” discusses Congo and Rwanda’s most prominent security concerns, blending analysis, field research, and interviews in Goma and the surrounding region.
The report also provides recommendations for regional envoys. These recommendations include promoting a sustained focus on core security issues; developing disarmament and reintegration plans for the M23 and Congolese armed groups; and improving operational intelligence, humanitarian measures as well as public outreach for the U.N. peacekeeping mission and new intervention brigade.
The report takes stock of the strength levels and recent battlefield dynamics involving two key rebel groups with different connections to Rwanda that shape security concerns for governments on both sides of the Congo-Rwanda border. The FDLR is headed by some of the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and it has attacked Rwanda in the past year. Kigali believes the FDLR poses an existential security threat. The M23 is an offshoot of several previous rebel groups, and the U.N. and other groups have linked it to the Rwandan government, but Kigali denies the link. “Taking Back Eastern Congo” argues that neutralizing a weakened FDLR through a more robust and comprehensive strategy could mitigate Rwanda’s security concerns in eastern Congo. Alleviating these Rwandan security concerns could, in turn, result in a more rapid solution to the M23.
Goma-based Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Timo Mueller says, “As the U.N. peacekeeping force and the Intervention Brigade work to improve their capabilities on the ground, it is also as important that the U.N., U.S., African Union, and European Union envoys encourage substantive talks to take place as soon as possible on the security interests of states in the region, including support for rebel groups.”
Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Fidel Bafilemba adds,“The people of eastern Congo have been bearing the brunt of the many atrocities of the FDLR rebel group. Regional leaders must finally commit to resolving this issue once and for all.”
Read the report, Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups: https://enoughproject.org/files/TakingBackEasternCongo-report.pdf
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.