MUSANZE – The visiting Ombudsman of Sweden along with a team of other visiting Ombudsmen from other African countries yesterday visited former combatants who are taking part in a demobilisation and rehabilitation programme at Mutobo Demobilisation Centre in Musanze District.
Over 400 ex-combatants repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are in the programme.
The former combatants gave testimonies about the appalling state of rebel life, why they abandoned fighting and how they managed to get back to Rwanda.
“We are proud to be back to our country, to participate in the efforts of peace and reconciliation and your (visitors) presence is a testimony of the right path this country is taking,’’ said Gasore Serafi, former Director of Judicial Department in the Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
J.R Walters, Namibia’s Ombudsman challenged the ex-combatants to turn their focus on developing the country.
“The battle against poverty and survival has just begun, you are strong and dynamic, you should use this time to contribute towards development,’’ Walters said.
Rwanda’s Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara who led the visiting team said the aim of the visit was to showcase Rwanda’s reconciliation initiatives.
Soleman Hateea, from Mauritius asked the former combatants to draw lessons form their war activities, adding that the former fighters should consider poverty as their enemy but not their neighbours.