Over 8,000 former members of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other rebel groups operating in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have so far been integrated into society since the establishment of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) in 2001.
This was revealed by the chairman of the Commission, Jean Sayinzoga at the pass-out of 362 former FDRL fighters at Mutobo Demobilisation Centre in the Northern Province.
“The first phase was back in 2001, when we reintegrated about 2000 ex-combatants in two camps of Nkumba and Mudende.Other phases followed and as of now, we have about 8284 fully reintegrated,” “They are peacefully staying with their families; some have established very successful projects, not only benefiting themselves alone but also the society,” said Sayinzoga.
At the camp, ex-fighters are taken through civic education courses that include the country’s history, unity and reconciliation as well as major government programmes and policies.
Sayinzoga urged the ex-combatants to play a positive role in the reconstruction process of this country.
Speaking to The New Times, one of the trainees, Jean Marie Karuta hailed the progamme saying: “now we are like born again and regret the time we spent in DRC jungles doing nothing, actually we have gained nothing from there other than suffering.”