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UN Sanctions FDLR Leaders, CNDP Rebel Commander Integrated into Army

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Congo News Agency - December 2, 2010

UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council imposed targeted measures including travel bans and asset freezes on three Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) leaders and a former Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) commander integrated in the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), on Wednesday, at the request of the permanent missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Exceprts from a joint press release from the permanent missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Background:

1. Gaston IYAMUREMYE, born in 1948 in Musanze District (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to multiple sources, including the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Gaston Iyamuremye is considered a core member of the FDLR military and political leadership and has become the group’s president. Gaston Iyamuremye also ran Ignace Murwanashyaka’s (previous President of the FDLR) office in Kibua, DRC until December 2009.

2. Félicien NSANZUBUKIRE, born in 1967 in Murama, Kinyinya, Rubungo, Kigali, Rwanda. Félicien Nsanzubukire has been a member of the FDLR since at least 1994 and operating in eastern DRC since October 1998. The UNSC DRC Sanction Committee’s Group of Experts reports that Félicien Nsanzubukire supervised and coordinated the trafficking of ammunition and weapons between at least November 2008 and April 2009 from the United Republic of Tanzania, via Lake Tanganyika, to FDLR units based in the Uvira and Fizi areas of South Kivu.

3. Innocent ZIMURINDA, born in 1975 or on September 1, 1972 , in Ngungu, Masisi Territory, North Kivu Province, DRC. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was an officer in the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) which was integrated into the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) in early 2009.

According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, in his capacity as one of the commanders of the FARDC 231st Brigade, gave orders that resulted in the massacre of over 100 Rwandan refugees, mostly women and children, during an April 2009 military operation in the Shalio area.

The UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts reported that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was witnessed first hand refusing to release three children from his command in Kalehe, on August 29, 2009.

According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, prior to the CNDP’s integration into FARDC, participated in a November 2008 CNDP operation that resulted in the massacre of 89 civilians, including women and children, in the region of Kiwanja.

In March 2010, 51 human rights groups working in eastern DRC posted a complaint online alleging that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was responsible for multiple human rights abuses involving the murder of numerous civilians, including women and children, between February 2007 and August 2007. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda has also been accused in the same complaint to be responsible for the rape of a large number of women and girls.

According to a May 21, 2010, statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Innocent Zimurinda has been involved in the arbitrary execution of child soldiers, including during operation Kimia II. According to the same statement, he denied access by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to screen troops for minors. According to the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Lt Col Zimurinda holds direct and command responsibility for child recruitment and for maintaining children within troops under his command.

4. Leodomir MUGARAGU, born in 1954 or 1953, in Kigali, Rwanda or Rushashi (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to open-source and official reporting, Leodomir Mugaragu is the Chief of Staff of the Forces Combattantes Abucunguzi/Combatant Force for the Liberation of Rwanda (FOCA), the FDLR’s armed wing. According to official reporting, Mugaragu is a senior planner for FDLR’s military operations in the eastern DRC.


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