The deadline set by the Heads of State and Government of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the ICGLR for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to disarm voluntarily or face military action expired yesterday, 2 January 2015.
The Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has taken note of the second wave of disarmament events that took place on 28 December 2014 in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu respectively, during which a further 151 FDLR combatants disarmed voluntarily and 67 weapons were handed over.
This brings the total number of combatants who have disarmed since May 2014 to 337 and the number of weapons handed over to 234. This represents approximately 24% of the FDLR's estimated total number of combatants.
The FDLR has therefore to date not complied in full with the conditions imposed by the Heads ofState and Government of SADC and the ICGLR.
A Joint Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC and the ICGLR will take place on 15 and 16 January 2015 in Luanda to review the situation related to the voluntary disarmament of the FDLR and to decide on the appropriate action to be taken following the expiry of the deadline that had been set.
In the interim, the Chair of the SADC Organ launches an earnest and urgent appeal on the leadership of the FDLR and all remaining combatants to immediately and unconditionally present themselves for disarmament. SADC remains committed to the internationally mandated objective of neutralising all negative forces operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the FDLR, and remains ready to play its fullest part in this regard.
The Chair of the SADC Organ looks forward to participating in the Joint Summit of Head Heads of State and Government of SADC and the ICGLR in Luanda, Angola later this month to agree on a common approach to make decisive progress in reaching this shared objective.
Enquiries: DIRCO Spokesperson Mr Clayson Monyela on 082 884 5974 or Mr Mac Maharaj Spokesperson to the President on 079 879 3203
Issued by: The Presidency