Nearly 2,000 Rwandans repatriated from DR Congo at the end of last year were on Tuesday, November 17, reintegrated into society.
The development is a culmination of 11 months of an intensive rehabilitation programme at Nyarushishi Transit Centre in Rusizi District.
This a new dawn in their lives. Like other Rwandans, they will have equal opportunity, including access to education and healthcare services as well as the liberty to seek employment and do business without discrimination.
In Congo, they had lost hope with their lives characterised by malnutrition, diseases, and sadly the lack of identity.
At the Transit Centre, the returnees were, among others, taken through a comprehensive rehabilitation programme that included awareness on the processes of reconciliation, social cohesion, as well as their role and responsibilities as citizens.
The government will facilitate their children to go back to school. In addition, the adults will get a onetime financial package of $250 package while children will get $150. This is quite laudable, but most importantly, at the transit centre, they gained skills that will help them to start a new life and become self-sufficient.
Now, we hope that they add their voice to relentless calls to militias still holed up in Congolese jungles to abandon the path of hatred, extremism and genocide ideology, and return home peacefully.
They have promised to be responsible citizens. And it is our collective responsibility and duty as Rwandans to help them settle in smoothly as we have always done. Millions of Rwandans have returned from the Congo and across the region over the last 25 years and were warmly welcomed, many going on to successfully integrate into society.
We have argued before that no Rwandan – and no human for that matter – deserves the kind of rogue, hopeless life in militia captivity as the returnees did, much less children. Indeed, no Rwandan should still be succumbing to the propaganda and schemes of those who pursue selfish ends.
Rwanda will always be happy to receive her sons and daughters, even those that have tried to plot against her.
Their adoption and integration is evidence of a continued inclusion approach to ensure improved social and economic progress for all affiliated to Rwanda and evidence for all still holed up in militia activities that they can have a place and role in the country.