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May-29-2013 22:06printcomments

When Elephants Fight it is the Grass that Suffers

We have to make it clear that the settlement of the FDLR issue is an absolute prerequisite to secure stability in the East of Congo.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete

(WASHINGTON DC) - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, urged the governments in the great lakes region to work together and end the war which has been going on for nearly 20 years.

President Kikwete stressed that the only way out of that situation the region is facing was to speak to the rebels.

Talks with the M23 in Uganda between this Rwandan backed rebel group and the government of the DRC have been going on for many months now but with little success.

Most governments have a strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists and President Kagame seems to feel the same way according to the response of the Government of Rwanda that they will not talk with the FLDR.

In an effort to encourage these talks the Rwanda Dream Youth from the Rwanda Dream Initiative, a party lead by former Rwandan Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, has penned a letter encouraging talks between these two groups in order to facilitate a peace agreement. The letter is in full below:

UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon
United Nations
New York, NY 10017 USA
212-963-5012 fax: 212-963-7055
May 29, 2013

On May 26, at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete made a statement that will go down in history as the wisest ever. Speaking during the meeting for the parties concerned by the regional Peace Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Kikwete urged local Governments to address issues they have with armed opponents, including the Rwanda’s FDLR based in Congo.

We, The Rwandan Dream Youth Worldwide, wish to ask the UN to support Hon. Kikwete’s statement and call for negotiations between the Rwandan Government and the FDLR in order to put an end to the sufferance caused by two decades conflict.

Since it came to power in the wake of the 1994 genocide, Paul Kagame’s Government focused on wiping out the Hutu rebels who desperately took up arms after the massacre of hundreds of thousands of refugees by the Rwandan army in the forests of Congo. We have to make it clear that the settlement of the FDLR issue is an absolute prerequisite to secure stability in the East of Congo.

In order to achieve and sustain peaceful cohabitation between DRC and Rwanda, it is crucial to address once for all the issue of the Rwandan refugees who are still on Congo’s soil. The troubling fact is that the Rwandan Government is enthusiast to the cause of Kinyarwanda speaking Tutsi Congolese claiming to be excluded in their own country while the same government keeps ignoring the issue of Rwandan refugees who have spent decades in wretched conditions in DRC.

Thousands of Rwandan refugees are reluctant to return due to political intolerance prevailing in the country. Opposition politicians, human rights activists and journalists are permanently in danger of being murdered, put in jail or forced to exile.

In our opinion, it is not possible to address Congo’s M23 issue and ignore Rwanda’s FDLR issue. We are convinced that Hon. Kikwete’s statement could be a stepping-stone to a stronger commitment from all the stakeholders. Tanzania has always been part of all processes meant to bring peace, justice and democracy to Rwanda, that is why we urge the UN to consider talks between Rwandans hosted by Tanzania.

The Rwandan Dream Youth

  1. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  2. EAC Heads of States
  3. The President of the United States of America
  4. The African Union
  5. East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
  6. All Embassies Accredited to Rwanda
  7. The National Assembly of Tanzania
  8. The Rwanda Civil Society Platform
  9. Ibuka


Jennifer Fierberg is a social worker in the US working on peace and justice issues in Africa with an emphasis on the crisis in Rwanda and throughout the central region of Africa. Her articles have been published on many humanitarian sites that are also focused on changing the world through social, political and personal action.

Jennifer has extensive background working with victims of trauma and domestic violence, justice matters as well as individual and family therapy. Passionate and focused on bringing the many humanitarian issues that plague the African Continent to the awareness of the developed world in order to incite change. She is a correspondent, Assistant Editor, and Volunteer Coordinator for NGO News Africa through the volunteer project of the UN. Jennifer was also the media co-coordinator and senior funding executive for The Africa Global Village. You can write to Jennifer at Jennifer comes to with a great deal of experience and passion for working to stop human right violation in Africa.



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