Rwandan Forces Depart the DRC

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…October 9, 2002) Rwanda completed its withdrawal of troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) October 5, the United Nations’ Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) has reported.

Madnodje Mounoubai, a spokesman for the United Nations Mission in the DRC, verified that the pullout is beginning this week.

In return for the withdrawal, the DRC should now disarm Hutu militiamen hiding in its territory, said the Rwandan army chief, Major General James Kabarebe. DRC President Joseph Kabila pledged to do so in a July agreement signed with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Radical Hutus slaughtered an estimated half-million Tutsis living in Rwanda in the mid-1990s. When the Tutsis gained control of Rwanda, many of the killers fled to the neighboring DRC, formerly Zaire. The Tutsi army followed them and seized control of a third of the country, in one of the largest incursions in what is known to many as “Africa’s World War.”

Zimbabwe, Uganda and Angola also are removing soldiers stationed on DRC territory. Zimbabwe began pulling 2,000 troops out of Lubumbashi, a diamond trade center on the Congolese-Zambian border last week — and is expected to have all its forces out by the end of this week. Uganda and Angola already have pulled out 90 percent of their soldiers, according to outside monitors.

The DRC accounted for 18 percent of world diamond production last year, as measured by weight, or 6.5 percent as measure by value, according to the Diamond Trading Company (DTC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.