RUBAVU - 16 former combatants from the Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) arrived yesterday at Rubavu district offices with their families accompanied by UNHCR officials.
Speaking to The New Times, Sgt Major Jean Claude Kabirigi from the FDLR Concorde Battalion, said that the journey to reach UN forces (MONUC) took him two weeks and said that many returnees are still stranded in the jungles of Rucuru and Walikale.
“I reached this decision of returning after realizing that there was no future in the jungles and the only way was to come back to my country and continue with my studies,” Kabirigi narrated.
For Corporal Felix Gasana, formerly of the Mobile Force Battalion of the militia; “there is need to have toll-free number which can help to guide the returnees back to Rwanda since some members of the Congolese army threaten to kill us whenever we want to repatriate through MONUC.
MONUC is the United Nations Mission in the DRC.
“The messages we received through MONUC’s radio opened my eyes and I started to look for a way of escaping from the FDLR and returning back to my country,” Gasana said.
Blacklisted by the United Nations as a terrorist group, the FDLR is largely comprised of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, while others are held hostage by the militiamen.