RUSIZI - A group of 152 Rwandans were yesterday repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through Rusizi 1 border.
The returnees, largely made up of women and children, arrived in the country at around midday, according to Immigration officials at the border.
Among them are 16 former FDLR rebels at the rank of corporal who were part of the team repatriated by UN Mission in DRC (MONUC).
The Immigration officials told The New Times that the civilians were repatriated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). From the border; they were transported to Nyagatare refugee transit camp also in Kamembe sector.
Security authorities said all the returnees fled the country during the 1994 Genocide.
They have been living in the areas of Walikare, Karehe, Masisi and Uvira in north Kivu in DRC-while the former fighters were living in Rucuro, Walikare and Masisi communes.
The ex-combatants were taken to Ntendezi Military transit camp in Nyamasheke District-from where they would be transferred to Mutobo demobilisation and reintegration camp for solidarity training.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after their arrival, Corporal Alphonse Hitayo said: “On behalf of my colleagues who have been repatriated, I am really pleased by the reception we received contrary to what we expected.”
He added that there so many of their colleagues still hiding in the jungles of DRC who are struggling to get back to Rwanda.