Rwanda / Mali (Country threat levels – 4 / 3)

Rwandan troops arrested the Tutsi National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) rebel leader Laurent Nkunda on 22 January 2009. Nkunda was arrested in the rebel stronghold of Bunagana at approximately 2230 local time after attempting to resist a joint Rwandan-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) military operation to apprehend him. The rebels who were with Nkunda were also encouraged to disarm. The DRC issued an international arrest warrant for Nkunda following accusations that his forces were committing atrocities against civilians during their offensives. However, it is unclear if Rwanda will agree to extradite Nkunda to the DRC.ASI Comment: Nkunda’s arrest indicates that the rebel leader has lost critical support from both his senior rebel leaders and his former Rwandan ally. The Rwandan government previously supported Nkunda’s efforts to fight Hutu militias in the DRC. However, when Nkunda refused to support Rwandan efforts to ally with the Congolese government to begin a joint military effort to eradicate the Hutu groups, Rwanda stopped backing his forces. A recent fracturing in the CNDP, followed by the splinter group’s ceasefire with the Congolese government, also signaled that Nkunda no longer enjoyed unified support from his senior command.

About Tim McDowell

Colorado ACFEI Member's Homeland Security Weblog
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