Verdrag Rome 2005 DRC-FDLR


In February 2005, a meeting between the Congolese Government and the FDLR leadership was held in Rome and facilitated by Sant’Egidio, an international conflict resolution group. Rwanda refuses to engage in dialogue with the FDLR—what it terms a “genocidal military organization”—and declined the invitation to attend.

On March 31, 2005, the FDLR released a declaration condemning the 1994 genocide and agreeing to voluntary disarmament. In their declaration after the Sant’Egidio talks, the FDLR asserted the following four main points.

1. Agreed to end the armed fight, to voluntary disarmament, and to no longer engage in an offensive against Rwanda.

2. Condemned the genocide and its authors. Agreed to fight against genocide ideology and ethnic hatred. Vowed to cooperate with international justice mechanisms.

3. Condemned terrorism and human rights violations in the Great Lakes region. Vowed to fight impunity.

4. Wished for the return of Rwandan refugees to their country according to international norms, and with the help of DRC, Rwanda, and the international community.

“In conclusion, in opting for the political fight to the detriment of the armed fight, the FDLR expresses the firm will to bring their struggle to a sustainable and peaceful resolution from conflict not only in Rwanda but also in the Great Lakes Region. And to do so, an opening in political space is necessary.”[16]

This agreement, signed by FDLR President Ignace Murwanashyaka, was hailed by the international community as a small victory. However, Murwanashyaka’s agreement was contingent upon the “opening of political space” in Rwanda and the FDLR have not implemented the deal. Murwanashyaka lives in Germany, and, according to a United Nations panel of experts, he maintains command and control over the FDLR forces and has been involved in arms trafficking.[17] The U.N. Security Council has ordered Murwanashyaka’s assets frozen and imposed a travel ban. The Rwandan government wants him extradited to face genocide charges.