National
Armed Rwandan rebels surrender in east DR CongoPublish Date: May 31, 2014
Armed Rwandan rebels surrender in east DR Congo
  • mail
  • img
One of the Rwandan rebels based in Congo
newvision

KATEKU - More than 100 armed Rwandan rebels from a group linked to the 1994 genocide in their homeland turned themselves in Friday in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a decision welcomed by the UN.

The rebels are members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) which includes remnants of the militia that carried out the genocide of at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis according to the world body and which is now based in DRC.

The 105 men, most of them young, surrendered with their weapons at a grammar school in Kateku, about 220 kilometres (140 miles) north of Goma, capital of North Kivu province.

Nord-Kivu governor Julien Paluku said the surrender was the first step in a process which should be wound up "within 22 days", with the ex-rebels given a choice to return to Rwanda or ask for political asylum.

The UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO) welcomed the move but cautioned that it would take time to see if the rebel movement was serious about disarming.

"For the first day, this is a good start, but more can be done," General Abdallah Wafi, MONUSCO's number two, told AFP.

"We are encouraging the process and have mobilised all our [military and logistic] resources but only coming days will tell us if the process is credible and serious," he added. "For the time being it is too early" for cheers.

Of the 105 rebels, MONUSCO eventually only transferred 97 to Kanyabayonga, south of Kateku. "Some disappeared as soon as they were to climb onto [MONUSCO] trucks," said Wafi.

In Kanyabayonga, the men were to meet their families "within the next 48 hours", General Delphin Kahimbi, who oversaw the surrender on behalf of the Congolese army, told AFP.

The FDLR has around 1,500 men, according to UN estimates, or 4,000, according to Kigali. They are scattered across Kivu province, where they have been accused of widespread violence and rights abuses.

Earlier attempts to settle the FDLR problem had failed.

The group's armed wing again promised to lay down arms in late 2013 but the Rwandan government has refused to hold talks.

In April the FDLR said it was committed to political negotiations and a peaceful resolution for Rwanda's problems, and had no intention of starting conflicts or creating insecurity in Rwanda.

The DRC and Rwanda have for years accused each other of using the FDLR for their own interests.

RELATED ARTICLES

As Rwanda marks genocide, no justice for DR Congo massacres

Defeated Congo rebels sign amnesty to end fighting

Decades after genocide, Congo struggles to dislodge Rwanda rebels

Rwanda lashes out at 'cry baby' DR Congo

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Makerere to teach Turkish
NILE Dialogue Platform, the Ugandan subsidiary of Gülen Movement, a Turkish social movement whose teachings lay emphasis on interfaith and intercultural dialogue...
Second foreign tourist shot dead in Mombasa
A foreign female tourist was shot dead in Kenya's port city of Mombasa on Thursday, the second such killing there this month, police said...
Mother abandons two weeks baby in hospital
The administrators of St. Francis Naggalama hospital in Mukono District are stranded by a three-weeks baby girl who was abandoned by her mother a week ago....
Opposition MPs want select committee to probe Rwenzori attacks
Wafula Oguttu has said that there is a crisis in Rwenzori region which needs urgent attention....
Sudanese Christian woman spared death meets Pope
A Sudanese Christian woman whose death sentence for renouncing Islam sparked a global outcry that eventually led to an acquittal, met Pope Francis on Thursday after arriving in Italy en route to the United States...
Govt asked to compensate Opit Shooting victims
Parliament has asked where one person was government to compensate families of the February 7, 2014 shooting at Opit trading...
Should government review powers of kings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter