Former FDLR commander calls for release of hostages

Musanze - A former senior commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Colonel Elie Mutarambirwa, on Tuesday, appealed to his former colleagues to let those willing to abandon rebel activities, return home.  
Egyptian Ambassador Khaled Abdel Rahman give a certificate to Elie Mutarambirwa (Col) as Jean Sayinzoga looks on. (Photo B Mukombozi)
Egyptian Ambassador Khaled Abdel Rahman give a certificate to Elie Mutarambirwa (Col) as Jean Sayinzoga looks on. (Photo B Mukombozi)

Musanze - A former senior commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Colonel Elie Mutarambirwa, on Tuesday, appealed to his former colleagues to let those willing to abandon rebel activities, return home.  

Mutarambirwa made the appeal during a ceremony to discharge 249 ex-combatants who had completed a three-month demobilization and reintegration course at Mutobo Demobilization and Reintegration Centre in Musanze District.

‘’It’s out of greed and guilt that they hold them hostage; you should come back and repent your sins, because time for peddling lies is over. We have seen with our own eyes that Rwanda is peaceful and stable,’’ Mutarambirwa, a former commander of Sopeka Battalion of the FDLR First Division said.

The ex-combatants discharged included five officers and 2 women, from various rebel groups including FDLR-Foca RUD, Maimai and FARDC operating in the Eastern DRC.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), Jean Sayinzonga, assured the ex-combatants of their rights and benefits as demobilized soldiers in Rwanda.

He urged them to take up development projects- since they have acquired basic skills in entrepreneurship, as well as, getting acquainted with the national development programmes.

Meanwhile,11 Congolese, were arrested after they illegally attended the course. According to officials, they sneaked into the programme to get the benefits distributed after completion of the reintegration programme.

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