The United Nations Mission for the Stabilisation of Congo popularly known by its French acronym (MONUSCO) has announced that US$4.8 million has been earmarked for the stabilization of Djugu and Irumu territories in the Ituri Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is currently in the grip of violence.
This operation is within the context of the International Strategy for the Stabilisation of Eastern Congo (ISSS).
So far, no time frame has been given as to when the process would begin.
The projects would include the socio-economic reintegration of 1, 000 combatants of the Force de Resistance Patriotique de l’Ituri – Patriotic Resistance Force of Ituri – (FRPI) and their dependents.
“These projects for a global amount of US$4.8 million concern the return, socio-economic reintegration and the economic empowerment of more than 1,000 demobilised fighters of the FRPI armed group, and 1,500 of their dependents as well as for youths at risk in the south of Irumu territory.
“The activities of economic empowerment of demobilized combatants would include professional training notably in carpentry, agriculture, livestock and mechanics.
“There would also be income-generating activities in favour of the fighters and their dependents, through social reinsertion and agricultural activities notably in the transformation of certain agricultural outputs to finished products”, MONUSCO revealed on Wednesday.
Another artery of the projects would include the reinforcement of peaceful cohabitation through social dialogue between local communities.
“The second project called community dialogue also concerns the Irumu territory and has as objective the facilitation of social cohabitation between communities affected by the activities of the FRPI as well as the return to civilian life of demobilized combatants.
“This part of the work would be focused on the prevention, resolution and transformation of conflicts through platforms of communal structures.
“The putting in place of these projects would involve debunking all disinformation and rumours that negatively affect communal cohesion in the zones concerned, according to the view of partners involved in the execution of the programme”, the UN mission added.
The territories of Djugu and Irumu are the two territories of Ituri troubled by the activities of local armed groups which have killed hundreds of civilians within the past three years.
In Djugu, a delegation dispatched by the Presidency of the Republic Felix Tshisekedi in July, is still pursuing negotiations with the fighters of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) with a view to getting them to lay down their arms.
In Irumu, the principal militia group, the FRPI had in February this year signed a peace accord with the government.
However, more than one thousand combatants are still waiting for the disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion process to begin.
While waiting, the FRPI has already transformed itself into a political party.
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