FDLR commander was in Rome for 10 days, reports Italian newspaper

By IAfrica
In Rwanda
Jul 14th, 2014
FDLR commander was in Rome for 10 days, reports Italian newspaper

Gen Gaston IYAMUREMYE in his bush hideout in the jungles of eastern DR Congo 

The Italian catholic group ‘Community of Sant’Egidio’ secured a tourist visa for FDLR commander Gen Gaston IYAMUREMYE for which he used to stay in Rome for 10 days contrary to information given to UN headquarters by MONUSCO that he did not travel, an investigation has revealed.

On June 24, information leaked from the UN headquarters in New York that the chief of UN peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, a French national had requested the UN Security Council to lift travel ban on the FDLR commander so he could travel to Italy. The top militia leader is known by exact names IYAMUREMYE Gaston but also uses several others inluding Rumuli, ByiringiroVictor Rumuli, Victor Rumuri and Michel Byiringiro.

UN sanctions require that the mission in DR Congo, known as MONUSCO, under Ladsous, does not allow any sanctioned individuals to leave Congo. Rwanda angrily protested against the travel pass.

On the classified travel pass, Ladsous gave Byiringiro or General Iyamuremye permission to travel to Italy. The explanation was that Byiringiro would meet members of Sant’Egidio, which has been the biggest clandestine funding mobiliser for the FDLR for many years. The travel pass was to allow Byiringiro to be in Italy between June 26-27. It was indicated that he would leave his North Kivu bases on June 24.

The meeting day arrived and passed, as information began circulating suggesting other members of the FDLR delegation had travelled to Rome, but not Victor Byiringiro. According to information provided by MONUSCO to the UN Security Council which had refused the travel pass, Victor Byiringiro did not go to Rome.

Now, an Italian newspaper L’INDRO is reporting that Victor Byiringiro was in Rome for 10 days. Gen Victor Byiringiro left Kanyabayonga on June 14 by helicopter to Kinshasa. He travelled to Italy by Ethiopian Airline arriving there via Rome’s Fiumicino airport using a regular tourist visa. While in Rome, he stayed with Sant’Egidio between June 20-30.

According to the investigative paper, Father Matthew Zuppi and Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant’Egidio Community began working on the trip in January 2014. They reportedly supported by French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius and Martin Kobler, the MONUSCO chief.

The paper also reports that Iyamuremye manages a huge mafia network dealing in minerals with DRC Pesident Kabila’s brother: Zoe Kabila. The paper reports in detail on how the Rome visit is part of wider strategy by the French government to have the Rwandan government negotiate with FDLR.

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