Military


Interahamwe
Peuple en armes pour la liberation du Rwanda (PALIR)
Armée pour la libération du Rwanda (ALIR)
ex-FAR (Forces armees rwandaises)

Interahamwe consists of remnants of the Hutu militias and former Rwandan armed forces (FAR - Forces armees rwandaises)responsible for the 1994 genocide. Thousands have laid down their arms and returned to Rwanda for "re-education", but thousands more are still in the DRC, many of them fighting alongside the Mayi-Mayi and Kabila's forces. These forces often link up with Congolese Hutu fighters.

The 'Peuple en armes pour la liberation du Rwanda' (PALIR), and its armed wing 'Armée pour la libération du Rwanda' (ALIR), is an attempt by the Interahamwe to form a political organisation. Reports say PALIR has been weakened by the recent return of ex-Interahamwe fighters to Rwanda, but the group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of foreign tourists.

In February 1998, Interahamwe bands killed 58 persons and wounded 64 others at Byahi, in Rubavu commune of Gisenyi. The victims apparently were chosen indiscriminately, without regard to ethnic background. The attackers reportedly fled towards the Democratic Republic of Congo when RPA soldiers arrived to help. In April 1998 ex-FAR and Interahamwe gangs killed 26 genocide survivors in Msumbira commune of Gitarama prefecture. The following day, a group attacked three vehicles, including one carrying the prefect. He was wounded; the driver was killed.

In June 1998 over 200 ex-FAR members attacked a settlement of Bigogwe Tutsis in Kayove commune of Gisenyi prefecture. In total, 29 persons were killed and many more were injured. Insurgents attacked the Nkamira transit camp, which held from 4,000 to 5,000 Congolese Tutsis, on 17 June 1998. A total of 51 persons were killed and 62 were injured.

Insurgents wearing stolen RPA uniforms attacked a commuter bus traveling from Kigali to Kibuye on 22 June 1998. The insurgents killed 18 persons and wounded 40. Reports indicate that many of the wounded later died. On 12 July 1998, insurgents attacked the Pensez-y Motel near Tare, about 22 miles from Kigali, where residents had gathered to watch a televised World Cup soccer match; they killed 34 persons, including 2 RPA soldiers. In early September 1998, several hundred Interahamwe militia members attacked the communal jail in Kivumu, Kibuye prefecture and reportedly liberated 380 prisoners. Local officials reported that militia members killed 50 civilians while trying to escape pursuit by the RPA. The RPA reported that it killed 70 members of the Interahamwe and captured 9 others. In August 1998 there were reports in the foreign media that Hutu rebels using machetes killed at least 110 persons, 34 in Buheta and Raba, near Kigali.

In the 1998-2002 Congolese war, the ALIR was allied with Kinshasa against the Rwandan invaders. The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo provided training, arms, and supplies to ALIR forces to combat Rwandan armed forces that invaded the DRC in 1998 but halted that support in 2002.




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