Musanze-Former members from various armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, were yesterday discharged after completing a three-month course in civic education and entrepreneurship.
The 196 ex-combatants who were awarded certificates, at Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration Centre, included two Lieutenant Colonels, a Major and six other officers.
Speaking during the ceremony attended by a delegation from the United Nations stabilisation mission in the DRC, the Chairman of Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, Jean Sayinzoga, said the government was optimistic Rwanda’s refugee issue would end soon.
“The youth in refugee camps want to return home; some of them are professionals working in foreign countries, they know the truth about Rwanda and know the prevailing peace and security. They are ready to return,’’ Sayinzoga said.
Sayinzoga said many Rwandan refugees in Maheba Refugee Camp in Zambia, Kinkiri in Congo Brazzaville are misinformed about security situation in the country.
“FDLR has set up a tribunal to try anyone suspected of contemplating returning home. Members are either killed or imprisoned.
They are being held hostage by top commanders,’’ revealedLt. Col Amour Bizimana, one of the returnees.
Lt. Col. Jonas Ntiziyaremye was elated after his discharge.
“Long live Rwanda, long live friends of Rwanda; this is a new place we never knew.
We lived badly in the last 15 years in the forests of Uvira. The conditions were unbearable. Soldiers are held back due to false propaganda, ’’ he observed.