4 January 2013

Rwanda: FDLR Militia Group Surrenders, Returns Home

Photo: Radio Okapi
Rebels (file photo).

At least 17 members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia group have surrendered and willingly crossed to Rwanda

The group, crossed to Rwanda through Rusizi border in the western province. They were accompanied with their many dependants making a total of 80 people, by the evening of January 4, 2013.

Most of the returnees are said to have come from Kabare and Walungu Zones. They included 49 children and 14 women who are supposedly the wives and children and/or close relatives of the militias.

Authorities at the Rusizi Immigration and District leaders have confirmed the event and added that the 80 people returnees were carried and escorted by Cars of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)

The group arrived with one sergeant Major, who claims to had wanted to surrender and come back for a long time, and when he lastly took the decision; he met other members with the same intention at the MUNOSCO disarmament and demobilisation center in Goma

According to some group members who talked to our reporters, most of them had bad image about Rwanda and that their superiors had been intimidating them, misinform them on Rwanda and it's Leadership; saying they would be killed if attempted to return home.

They also said to reporters that they had received good news from those who had returned to Rwanda before; that the Leadership in Rwanda and citizens are very welcoming and that there is total security. "We were even assured of our safety while in Rwanda and that the said injustice was only a propaganda that intended to keep us away from our country", some women told reports.

Relevant authorities has said the returnees will be allocated to Nyagatare temporally refugee camp based in Rusizi District where they will be introduced to various policies of the government and best programmes for their social development in Rwanda and later be assisted to go back to their relatives in many parts of the country depending on where they will be positioned

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