Conflict between Rwandan rebel group FDLR and DRC armed forces in eastern Kivu provinces
Les Force démocratiques de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) is a rebel militia based in eastern Congo since 1994 whose primary purpose is overthrowing the government of Rwanda. Although initially tolerated and even supported by the government of DRC, a change in policy around the start of the 2009 Kivus conflict saw the FDLR become a target of government military operations, leading to a period of intense internal conflict between the DRC armed forces and FDLR in the Kivus provinces. The alleged war crimes of FDLR in Busurungi and surrounding villages in 2009 have been characterized as being part of a retaliatory response to this.
Confrontations and reprisals between FDLR and DRC military operations in the Kivus in 2009 resulted in large-scale civilian fatalities, instances of rape, and displacement. NGOs at the time estimated that upwards of 900,000 civilians were forcibly displaced between January and August, over 6,000 homes were destroyed, around 7,000 cases of rape were reported, and approximately 1,193 civilian deaths had occurred by October 2009.
Mudacumura suspected of leading FDLR atrocities
Between early 2009 and the end of 2010, Sylvestre Mudacumura served as FDLR supreme commander. He has been at large since his arrest warrant was issued by the ICC on 13 July 2012.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) alleged that Mudacumura was an indirect co-perpetrator in conducting a campaign attacking civilian populations, and filed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In issuing the arrest warrant, however, Pre-Trial Chamber II determined that there were insufficient grounds to believe that Mudacumurau was criminally responsible for crimes against humanity.
Mudacumura is also alleged to have participated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, along with several other FDLR leaders.