Kinshasa, 2 January 2013: Between 21 and 24 December 2012, the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) dispatched an evaluation team to Mpati, Nyange and Bibwe in the territory of Masisi, Nord-Kivu province. The team was comprised of members of the Civil Affairs as well as of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement Sections (DD/RRR) and the Nord-Kivu Brigade.
The objective of the mission was to verify the following persistent rumours:
· that 4,000 FDLR members accompanied by their dependents arrived at Kazibake through Zambia;
· that two white-coloured helicopters with no UN logo flew over the space between Nyange and Lwama on 13 December;
· that a there is a new commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), in Kivuye and his name is Bakota;
· that weapons and ammunitions were supplied to FDLR by means of Government military aircrafts.
At the end of the mission, the team concluded that those allegations were all unfounded.
However, the mission confirmed the presence of FDLR members in several localities and villages in the Bashali Mukoto and Mpati communities since April 2012, after fleeing advance by the Mai Mai Rahiya Mutomboki. The FDLR is one of the groups active along the Bibwe-Kitso-Nyange axis that pose a serious challenge to civilian protection by collecting illegal taxes and making harvesting activities difficult.. In this respect, the Mission urged national and local government officials to take appropriate actions to relieve the populations.
MONUSCO would like to recall that over the past years, it has carried out several joint operations with the Congolese army in order to reduce the capacity of the armed groups including FDLR, to cause trouble. The Mission estimates the number of residual FDLR combatants in the region at just a few hundreds.