Chief escort of FDLR senior commander defects

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Sergeant Major Jean Baptiste Bisemakweli (2nd left) and his family

Sergeant Major Jean Baptiste Bisemakweli (2nd left) and his family

Another senior non-commissioned ranking officer in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group has defected to Rwanda on grounds of not being able to withstand the continued divide in the group.

Sergeant Major Jean Baptiste Bisemakweli, a former head escort to Colonel Vedaste Hatangumuremyi, the FDLR secretary General returned to Rwanda this august 30, after defecting from a rebel zone in Kiyeye Rutshuru

Sgt. Bisemakweli said that the divisions among the rebels (FDLR Foca) which have seen a breakaway group CNRD-Ubwiyunge and continued attacks by the DR Congo army is the reason why most rebels have continued to give up on the rebellion.

“I have made no progress after 29 years in the rebellion. I want to settle down and make a difference in my life and family. Life within FDLR is uncertain and has no future for me” said Sgt Maj Bisemakweli.

Similar remarks have also been made by Lt Col Fulgence Nzeyimana, aka “Bemba” who arrived this March 2016 after he managed to escape the rebel operations in DR Congo the hard way.

Bisemakweli also revealed that the divide in FDLR-Foca started in 2014 when Col. Wilson Irategeka, the FDLR executive secretary was sent to Rome meeting to represent rebels instead of FDLR Top commandant Gen Maj Gaston Iyamuremye, since the latter was accsued of war crimes.

“On return, Col.Irategeka had directives to tell his then bosses to resign and have a new leaders- who isn’t accused of war crimes- to be elected. This caused a lot of chaos, mistrust and segments amongst the group till to date” Bisemakweli explained.

The continued defection of FDLR rebels has taken a spiral effect of since last year and this is believed to be weakening the force which has spent over two decades fight a ‘losing’ war against Rwanda.

In December 2015, at least 21 Rwandan families composed of 93 persons have successfully returned to their home country after spending years in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The families said that the reason behind their homecoming was because they are fed up of living in fear and under poor living conditions in the DRC, yet they have been hearing of the prosperity in Rwanda.

At least More 95 Rwandans have managed to return home safely after escaping claims of being enslaved to the rebel’s activities for over 20 years.

This is the most recent case in which FDLR commissioned officers have repatriated to Rwanda.

The previous defection case was this February 2016, in which Captain Aphrodice Munyampeta a.k.a Prince, a commissioned officer and one of the chief escorts to FDLR Supreme commander also defected through the western border between the DR Congo and Rwanda accompanied by four other combatants and their families.






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