DETRACTORS MUST RESPECT RWANDANS’ CHOICE

We reported yesterday about another senior commander of the DR Congo-based rebel outfit, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who arrived in the country on Monday after he decided to lay down his arms and return home peacefully.

We reported yesterday about another senior commander of the DR Congo-based rebel outfit, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who arrived in the country on Monday after he decided to lay down his arms and return home peacefully.

Lt. Col. Elie Mutarambirwa alias Martin Safari was the commander of a battalion code-named Someka under the rebels’ first division operating in the North Kivu region.

He is the latest addition of FDLR officers and men who have finally made the right choice: to voluntarily disarm and repatriate.

So many former FDLR combatants have continuously been reintegrated in the military and are serving at various levels. Many of them continue to encourage their former rebel colleagues to abandon violence and join the noble cause of building a new Rwanda. Looking at the last 16 years, Rwandans must be proud that they have finally built a country that treats them equally, and upholds life and people’s rights.

Mutarambirwa and many other FDLR returnees are living proof that Rwandans have, over the years, appreciated the good intentions of the post-Genocide leadership, despite attempts by detractors to suggest otherwise.

The fact that thousands of fighters have voluntarily returned home and rejoined their happy families is a big testament that should not be ignored. These voluntary returnees, both militants and refugees are indicators of a pro-people administration and no one, much less the UN, should think that they can manipulate the truth.

It is ironic; therefore, that the UN plans, on Friday, to release a highly controversial report that accuses Rwandan troops of having committed possible genocide crimes in the DR Congo against the same people who are as grateful as Lt. Col. Mutarambirwa to the Rwandan government for enabling them to return home and reuniting them with their loved ones.

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