Who is Sylvestre Mudacumura?
As fighting intensifies throughout Eastern Congo, the International Criminal Court has amplified their response through two fresh arrest warrants for a familiar face, Bosco “the Terminator” Ntaganda, and Hutu military commander Sylvestre Mudacumura.
Much like his rival incarnations of the 1994 genocide, Mudacumura has been instrumental in the Kivu conflict, committing no less than nine different counts of war crimes through 2009 and 2010. He now commands the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a militia of leftover genocidaires who carried their fight across the border in the late 90s. The last bastion of Hutu power, the FDLR has been at constant odds with Ntaganda’s compatriots as well as his successors in the emerging M23 militia.
The destabilization of the Kivu provinces, and successive human rights abuses, have all been the handiwork of such ethnically based paramilitaries, vying for regional dominance. The ICC’s list of indictments amid this conflict have all been particularly one-sided, comprising Tutsi militants backed by Rwanda. The addition of Mudacumura to the mix indicates a willingness to eliminate belligerents on both sides from the battlefield. However, the Kabila administration remains insistent that these criminals are captured and tried by their own people. Immediate, increased dialogue between the ICC and the Congolese government is imperative for justice to be delivered to the shattered communities of Kivu. Only together can they facilitate the difficult process of bringing the indicted to light.