FNL Leader Goes into Exile in Congo, may Take up Arms Again.
23 June 2010
Burundi's opposition leader and former rebel chief has vanished and is believed to have gone into hiding in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said on Wednesday.
Agathon Rwasa - leader of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), which laid down its weapons in 2009 - had led opposition allegations that the government had been rigging the ongoing election process.
A high-ranking security official said that Rwasa was last seen leaving his home in Bujumbura's Kiriri neighbourhood before dawn, claiming to be on his way to church.
"He is then reported to have boarded a vehicle that was waiting for him and we have no idea where he is now," he said.
Rwasa usually has a security detail of around 10 men, but on Wednesday he made sure that he was accompanied by only one plainclothes police officer, the official added.
"He is reported to have crossed into the DR Congo with the assistance of a local Mai-Mai group," another security official said, referring to one of several rebel groups in the neighbouring country.
Several Bujumbura-based diplomats confirmed Rwasa's disappearance.
"All the information we're receiving points to the fact that Rwasa has gone into hiding," said one diplomat on condition of anonymity.
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch
Welcome to Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library