UNSC envoys meet former FDLR militias

NORTHERN PROVINCE The high level delegation from the UN Security Council, on Sunday, met and interacted with former demobilised members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), currently on a rehabilitation programme.
One of the ex-FDLR combatants recounts his ordeal in DRC to the UNSC delegation on Sunday (Photo J Mbanda)
One of the ex-FDLR combatants recounts his ordeal in DRC to the UNSC delegation on Sunday (Photo J Mbanda)

NORTHERN PROVINCE
 
The high level delegation from the UN Security Council, on Sunday, met and interacted with former demobilised members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), currently on a rehabilitation programme.

The former FDLR members who are participating in the rehabilitation and re-integration course, at Mutobo Demobilization Centre, gave their testimonies to the envoys of the Security Council, about their experience in DR Congo and life after their return to Rwanda.

Johnston Sawer, who led the UN Security Council members requested to hear from the ex-combatants on their experience. Several testimonies were heard from the ex-combatants.

Major Romeri Nzabamwita, said that what they have discovered in Rwanda is contrary to what they were being informed while they were still engaged in war in the eastern DRC.

“We were given wrong information on the social and the political situation in Rwanda, we were mislead that we would face discrimination and injustice if we return, but now we have discovered the truth upon our return,’’ Nzabamwita testified.

He pleaded with the envoys to help others who are still in the Congo because they lack humanitarian support, and are being used by those evading justice because of their role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Epimaque Hakizimana, 33, another witness who spoke through a translator said that the 15 years of war, were very difficult and said that he looked forward to re-uniting with his family after the course.

He said that it was hard to believe that they would all be welcomed back in Rwanda including those who had committed Genocide.

In another testimony, Jean Bosco Mutembeyi, said that he felt grateful that he was finally home and was allowed to visit his home in Butare.

542 ex combatants who surrendered during the recent joint operation between Rwanda and Congo are part of the rehabilitation programme, while their families including wives and children have returned to their homes.

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