DR Congo + 2 more

Marek News Briefs: Rwanda 27 Dec 1999

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Machete-wielding Rwandan rebels attacked a resettlement camp in northwestern Rwanda, hacking to death at least 30 people and injuring scores of others. AP reported that the attack occurred in Tamera, a village 50 miles northwest of Kigali, on the DR Congo border. Most of the victims were civilians. The rebels allegedly crossed over from Congo on December 23 and attacked during the evening hours. An army patrol arrived too late to do any good. It was the first such attack inside the country since Rwandan troops crossed into Congo in August 1998. In one sense, this attack is part of the years of rivalry in Rwanda between various groups vying for power and control. Many of the Rwandan militia now in the Congo attacking into Rwanda fled Kigali during and shortly after the 1994 Genocide, when nearly one million Rwandans were slaughtered. These militia are targeted against the current Government of Rwanda, which took power shortly after the Genocide and are thought to be allied, perhaps loosely, perhaps tightly, with the Kabila Coalition now fighting against the Kigali government. In that sense, their recent attack into Rwanda can also be seen as an expansion of the Congo War into Rwanda. Heretofore, Rwanda, which invaded the Congo in August 1998 in part to eradicate this militia threat, has confined the war to the territories of the Congo. The Kabila government has threatened to take the war to Kigali and Kampala, Uganda, and that appears to be a service rendered by several foreign and domestic militia roaming the DR Congo. Ugandan rebels have also stepped up their attacks into Uganda from their camps in the Congo.
The Brussels-based Union of Rwandese Democratic Forces (UDFR) has called for an independent inquiry into actions of the Rwandan rebel force that took power in Kigali following the 1994 Genocide. AP reported that the group has praised the recent UN report investigating its failures during and after the Genocide, but urged further investigation into other events of the time that the report did not cover. For example, the UFDR has said the UN report had failed to address who fired the missile at President Habyarimana's plane that led to his death, an action that occurred just prior to kickoff of Habyarimana's 1994 planned slaughter of nearly one million Rwandans. The UN report also did not discuss the alleged killings of tens of thousands of Rwandan citizens by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels, who seized power in July 1994, ending the Genocide. The UFDR, which was set up by former RPF members who fell out with the movement, accused the current government in Kigali of having a "policy of pursuing massacres of innocent civilian populations."

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