A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

BAAD - Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) - 2012


Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)

The Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) formed in 2000 from two branches of the Armée de Libération du Rwanda (AliR), which was composed from the remnants of Rwanda’s defeated government that fled into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) after the 1990-1994 war between the Forces Armées Rwandaises (ex-FAR), the Interahamwe militia, and the victorious Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).[1] The group’s original objective was to overthrow the Rwandan government by force,[2] ousting the RPF,[3] and returning ethnic Hutu political leaders to power.[4] However, as the FDLR evolved and the RPF consolidated its control of Rwanda, its priorities shifted toward calling for an inter-Rwandan dialogue and a grant of security for refugees to return to Rwanda.[5] When the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) formed in 2006, representing Tutsi interests, it declared FDLR an enemy.[6] Beginning in late 2008, due to gross human rights violations and the security issue posed to DR Congo and Rwanda,[7] the governments of DR Congo and Rwanda cooperated militarily against both CNDP and FDLR, resulting in the collapse of CNDP and the weakening of FDLR.[8] In 2009 and 2010, FDLR’s leaders were arrested abroad, in Germany and France respectively,[9] collapsing the political wing. The FDLR, albeit significantly weakened, continues to remain a security issue for both DR Congo and Rwanda,[10] although it announced in November 2013 that it is potentially willing to disarm, along with other armed groups, following the surrender of M23,[11] a group formed by the mutiny of former CNDP members.[12] In 2015, the FDLR was accused of training the youth wing of Burundi's National Council for the Defense of Democracy, raising fears of another genocide, and leading over 100,000 Burundians to flee to neighboring countries.[13] View full narrative

Quick Facts for 2012


310 (Total of 1998 through 2012)


Approximately 3,000

Territorial Control:
Controls Territory (1)

Funding through Drug Trafficking:

Sorry, but there are no organizational details available for this group at this time.


Primary Ideology

  • Ag = Anti-Globalization
  • An = Anarchist
  • En = Ethnic
  • Ev = Environmental
  • Le = Leftist
  • Re = Religious
  • Ri = Rightist
  • Se = Separatist
  • Su = Supremacist
  • Vi = Vigilante


  •  Ally
  •  Suspected Ally
  •  Rival
  •  Violence
  •  Mixed Relations


  •  Blue 0 - 1479 fatalities
  •  Green 1479 - 2958 fatalities
  •  Yellow 2958 - 4437 fatalities
  •  Orange 4437 - 5916 fatalities
  •  Red 5916 - 7396 fatalities

Lethality is calculated as the total number of fatalities from 1998-2012.


Icon sizes depict approximate relative sizes of the organizations.

  • Smallest 0 - 10 members
  •   11 - 100 members
  •   101 - 1000 members
  •   1001 - 10000 members
  • Largest > 10000 members

Other Notes

Icons with no color coding or ideology icon have no detailed data at this time, and are provided as relationship information only.