Rubavu- Colonel Jean Damascene Nizeyimana, the Deputy Commander of a brigade of RUD-Urunana militia, operating in Walikale province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has joined other senior members of FDLR, in defecting and returning home.
RUD-Urunana is a faction of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) which was declared a terrorist group by the United Nations.
Col. Nizeyimana, who was facilitated by United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), arrived at the Rwandan border in Rubavu, on Thursday, where he was reunited with his wife and two children.
Upon arrival, Nizeyimana, who fled from Rwanda with the rank of Lieutenant, and has been fighting for the last 17 years, said that he voluntarily defected after realising that the outlawed military outfit, had no major cause and vision.
‘’Rwanda has changed, the militia should focus on the future; I encourage them to come if they have any grievances, air them out as we seek peace for ourselves and our children,” Nizeyimana, said in an interview, as he looked around in amazement at how things have changed 17 years after.
He said that he left the Walikale-based brigade along with three officers, and their escorts, after disagreeing with his commander Gen. Musare aka Jean Damascene Ndibabaje.
“I regret the precious time I have spent in exile, 17 years is a long period to spend fighting a senseless war. I am happy to be finally home,” Nizeyimana said.
He explained that after sending his wife and children home in 2008, he kept communicating with them, and his fellow ex-combatants who had returned earlier, and later decided to lay down his arms.
Nizeyimana said that he handed over his combat uniform, gun and those of his escort to MONUSCO, in Goma, Eastern DR Congo.