Where do you get information about Rwandans in DRC? Myth and Fact about FDLR in Eastern DRCongo

Key findings on the debate about the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda known as FDLR based in the Democratic Republic of Congo especially in North Kivu.

Photo by Aljazeera of people who are presented as FDLR in North Kivu which needs to be well scrutinized, not all these people are Rwandans. 

Debates and deals are ongoing about DFLR in North Kivu, various Diplomatic Missions based in DRC, the European Union and the African Union have issued statements about the danger that represent FDLR yet there is no evidence of the danger to who and how?, Rwanda continues to argue about FDLR in order to justify the current war, the negotiations in Angola are also partly focusing on FDLR who are believed to be living in North Kivu, especially in Rutshuru, Masisi and Nyiragongo Territories.

Being ground we are curious to know how information is gathered about FDLR, who are involved in providing information and at what extend this information is accurate, what may be true and what may be a propaganda.

Myths and Facts

Who are FDLR?

What we have observed is that any Rwandan who is critical and disapproves the current Rwanda regime is FDLR, so FDLLR is not a belief and not an armed group, this also includes all those Rwandan Refugees who believe they cannot cohabit together with the current Rwandan regime.

Myth:  FDLR are Rwanda Genocidaires based in DRCongo

Facts: FDLR are Rwandan Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo most of them came as very young people below 10 years or were born in DRCongo,

Myth: FDLR are Rwandan fighters with guns and wanting to overthrow the regime in Kigali

Fact: FDLR are both Rwandans and Congolese people whose main objective is to resist against Rwandan Army attacks in DRCongo since 1996 up to now, some are fighters others are civilians. Just stop Rwanda’s Military Interventions in Eastern DRCongo, FDLR will no longer exist.

Myth: FDLR are fighting in order to overthrow the current Rwandan regime,

Facts: FDLR are fighting in order to protect Rwandan refugees against military interventions from Rwanda, and to resist against Rwanda’s Aggression in DRCongo,

Myth: We have done all what we could in order to solve the problem of FDRL but they refused all the proposed solutions,

Facts: Not much has been done in order to solve the problem, and actually FDLR together with all other Rwandan refugees in DRCongo have better ideas to solve the problem but they have never been consulted and fully involved. Most of solutions are fabricated in Kigali, Nairobi, Brussels, Washington, Paris, London …

We may not fully share with you all the myths that have been deliberately constructed about FDLR in Eastern DRCongo in order to fuel wars. Let us go to the point.

Where does Rwanda get information about FDLR in DRCongo?

Some of the FDLR fighters which are presented by the Media as members of FDLR if you look seriously you may also find that some of these people to do appear to be Rwandan.

Rwanda has first of all created its own FDLR factions that are based in Eastern DRCongo, on top of that Rwanda has infiltrated various security services in eastern DRC, Agencies and organizations. Most of the United Nations Agencies in the Eastern DRC do either have Rwandan Staffs who are highly affiliated to the Rwandan Regime or these Agencies have to make compromise with Rwanda in order to operate in eastern DRCongo, many organizations are also in the same situation, including state agencies. And lastly but not least Rwanda deploys various security operatives in all sector of life in eastern DRCongo in order to collect the necessary information among them some hold the refugees status.

Where do Diplomats get information about FDLR in Eastern DRCongo?

A lot of information collected from local organizations implementing partners of various programs are not accurate about FDLR, information collected from humanitarian relief aid is not accurate and lastly information from other Rwandans who are connected to Rwanda is not accurate.

Meeting with key actors about information

We engaged with some actors of the Civil Society on which information they have about FDLR, how they collect it and what evidence do they have. We observed that information provided by actors of the civil society is not from the first hand and it is in pieces, sometimes not even true, in some cases it is just information deliberately fabricated.

The Congolese National Commission for Refugee known as CNR, the fact that CNR is composed of people who are perceived as pro-Rwanda is enough to detest information they may present about FDLR, generally this information will move in line with Rwanda Agenda. The CNR is enemy to FDLR because of the programme to deport back to Rwanda many Rwandans who are refugees in DRC.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in Goma for example UNHCR is composed of staffs who are Tutsi believed to be Rwandan working on behalf of Rwanda, some UNHCR staffs reside in Rwanda and over the years UNHCR UNHCR has been used by Rwanda in activities against Hutus refugees, so as per now UNHCR may not credible to either offer services to Hutus refugees or collect accurate information about Hutus refugees in Eastern DRC.


The DDRRR (Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reinsertion and Resettlement Programme), is more of a political tool highly managed by people who are believed to be either Rwandans or Associated to Rwanda. DDRRR claims to get information from the CNR, and yet we have shared you about CNR, DDRRR is one among the propaganda programs put in place in order to collect information, yet with this composition DDRRR may not access true information and the first information from FDLR, generally it is possible to get information from other created groups put in place by Rwanda and which are also called FDLR.

The International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), when we visited their offices we realized that it also not able to provide the information we need. The composition, the mandate and the approaches towards FDLR cannot help the ICGLR to access information.

We also have media groups in place which are perceived as pro-Rwanda and which cannot serve as credible source of information.


We believe that information provided to us about FDLR is biased, highly political and serves more as a propaganda to criminalize FDLR in order to justify the war in DRCongo.

Our struggle is not only seek for accurate information from various actors but also help to provide another version of a different information.

So far most of actors in North Kivu are not a credible source of information about FDLR. Most of people have a narrow understanding of FDLR, cannot even manage to describe them and do mixt it with political propaganda.


Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

Provincial Coordinator, COJESKI North Kivu

Specialized in the Rights of Refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa




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