Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Bisengimana, a critical member of the leadership of the Forces democratique de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), has defected from the rebel organization. According to UN reports, Lt. Col. Bisengimana submitted himself to the UN’s Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Repatriation (DDRRR) program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
The mission said his defection under the terms of its Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Repatriation (DDRRR) programme dealt a serious blow to the FDLR, which he served as a member of the high command.
Lt-Col. Bisengimana was responsible for mobilizing civilian support for the FDLR and facilitated recruitment, according to MONUSCO.
Before fleeing Rwanda to DRC’s North Kivu province in the wake of the genocide, he was a company commander in the Rwandan army.
His defection follows the extraction from the FDLR of three other fighters with the rank of major last month. Last year, 1,881 FDLR rebels, including 64 officers, opted for voluntary surrender and disarmament under the MONUSCO demobilisation programme.