Former FDLR combatants
To Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax
Executive Secretary of SADC
SADC House – Plot No. 54385
Central Business District -Private Bag 0095
Gaborone – BOTSWANA
Kisangani, 27 August 2015
Subject: Grievances of former FDLR combatants cantoned in KISANGANI
We, former FDLR combatants cantoned with our families in Kisangani, have the honor to address your high personality to convey our concerns with respect to our livelihood and our safety in the coming few days.
In all our previous correspondence, a copy of which has always been sent to your office, we have shared our painful living conditions especially since the beginning of this year 2015 after the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared that it was no longer able to take care of us. Thus, recurrent reductions and privations of the diet during many consecutive days and sometimes an entire week, the insignificant supply of firewood, irregular medical care and inaccessibility to some medical services, all these are the set of our daily lives.
Had it not been the emergency dietary intervention provided by MONUSCO since July 20, 2015 in addition to its traditional support in drinking water, electricity and pharmaceuticals, our situation would have been much catastrophic.
Now that MONUSCO stops its assistance to cantoned people of Kisangani from the end of September 2015 pursuant to the statement of his boss Mr. Martin Kobler during his visit to us on August 22, 2015, and that, according to the information aired by BBC on August 25, 2015, our brothers and sisters cantoned in Kanyabayonga and Walungu will also be deprived of the assistance of MONUSCO from September 5, 2015, one wonders then what our fate will be after this deadline?
Moreover, we wish to inform you that our security is becoming increasingly threatened following the war that the army of the DRC has waged against the FDLR in both North and South Kivu.
The following facts speak by themselves:
- FARDC soldiers responsible of our personal security have been instructed to consider usas their enemies, supposedly that their brothers suffer damages in battle.
- The destruction on August 12th, 2015, inside the Kisangani camp, of a vegetable garden that allowed the cantoned persons to survive somehow during diet ratio cuts anddeprivation.
- The threatening language and multifaceted constraints to involuntary repatriation from some agents involved in the management of the camp and even those from DDRRRMONUSCO suggesting that the use of force by the government of the DRC is not excluded. The forced isolation of leaders from all cantonment camps and its known consequences are part and parcel of these constraints aimed at sabotaging the voluntary disarmament of the FDLR in progress. So, the question is “what will happen after the withdrawal of the watchful eye of MONUSCO”?
From all the above, and awaiting the fulfilment of conditions for peaceful return in our beloved motherland in safety and dignity in accordance with the statement of the FDLR of December 30, 2013, we urge SADC to kindly provide on time a succession plan of MONUSCO with regard to our livelihood and security.
In the hope that our grievances meet your assent and find appropriate consideration, kindly accept, Excellency Madam Executive Secretary, the expression of our highest consideration and that of our full confidence in SADC.
On behalf of the cantoned of Kisangani,
Major Faustin Mugisha
For, Chief Warrant Officer FASHAHO Léonidas.
His Excellency Major-General Victor Byiringiro
Acting President of the FDLR.