Inside DRC

FDLR Chief of Staff defects as Col Irategeka forms new outfit


FDLR rebels


A split has been reported within the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda [FDLR], the primary remnant Rwandan Hutu rebel group in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A one Colonel Wilson Irategeka reportedly created his own group after the attack last weekend.

The new group is codenamed “CNRD-Ubwiyunge”.

FDLR commanders labelled Col Irategeka a traitor saying he was under investigations for working with enemies of the rebel group.

The group asked Rwandans not to trust the de facto Colonel.

Chief of Staff Kayibanda defects

Meanwhile, reports that Callixte Kayibanda, the FDLR training commandant, army chief of Staff, and political commissar for Kivu Sector has defected.

Kayibanda who for the past 26 years has been living in the jungles of Eastern Congo, has already been repatriated to Rwanda.

He defected on May 27, 2016 from Bweru of Mweso in Masisi, eastern DRC.

“I knew we could not win Rwandan forces (RDF) but was held up in the bushes for all this time because I could not get information about the situation in Rwanda,” he is quoted by the website as saying.

Kayibanda has been serving under the command of Brig Gen Omega who is charge of Kivu Sector.



Kayibanda who joined army in 1975 under the late Habyarimana government and was at Gabiro barracks at the time of the Rwanda Patriotic Front-RPF attacked Rwanda on October 1, 1990 at the rank of Seargent Major.


FDLR has been involved in fighting from its formation on 30 September 2000 throughout the last phase of the Second Congo War and the fighting which has continued since then.

It is composed almost entirely of ethnic Hutus opposed to Tutsi rule and influence in the region.

The FDLR was formed after negotiations between the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda and the remnant Hutu military command agreed that the ALiR be dissolved.

Paul Rwarakabije was appointed commander in chief of the entire force, but ALiR had to accept the political leadership of the FDLR.

As of December 2009, Major General Sylvestre Mudacumura was the FDLR’s overall military commander.

He was the former deputy commander of the FAR Presidential Guard in Rwanda in 1994.

The FDLR made a partial separation between its military and civilian wings in September 2003 when a formal armed branch, the Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FOCA), was created.

According to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, the FDLR is believed to be responsible for about a dozen terrorist attacks committed in 2009.

These acts of terrorism have killed hundreds of civilians in Eastern Congo.

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