President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has agreed that rebels of the Force Democratique de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) currently operating from the Democratic Republic of Congo can return to Rwanda.
DR Congo Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula, disclosed this on Thursday, July 7, during a press conference with the country’s Minister of Communication and Medias, Patrick Muyaya.
“For the first time in a clear and precise manner, Rwanda through its president has accepted in principle the return of refugees, particularly the members of the FDLR on our national territory,” the Vice Prime Minister said.
“However, the Rwandans have never accepted that FDLR elements be told to return to the other side. On the contrary, they were saying that they are genocidal and have nothing to do with them, which is contained in the communique of April 21 signed in
Nairobi by Presidents Tshisekedi, Kagame, Museveni etc.”
In the meantime, more than 12,000 FDLR combatants have been repatriated and reintegrated into Rwandan society since 2001, according to Vincent Karega, Rwandan Ambassador in Kinshasa, in June this year.
Many of these rebels passed through the transit centre of Mutobo in Ruhengeri, which is about two hours of travel away from Kigali, the Rwandan capital.
Karega gave figures reported by the Commission on Demobilisation and
Reintegration, of which 75 per cent of ex-combatants are economically active today.
The World Bank supported the Commission on Demobilisation and Reintegration through the Emergency Demobilisation and Reinsertion Programme and the Second Emergency Demobilisation and Reintegration Project.
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