Current statistics from the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) show that a total of 66,867 soldiers and 791 ex-child soldiers have been demobilised since it was established in1997.
The number includes those from Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) and soldiers of the former government (Ex-FAR).
To enable them lead better lives and integrate into society, RDRC sponsored 4,378 ex-combatants in vocational skills while 1,497 enrolled for formal education in schools and universities.
“We used the little resources available to the commission to offer them skills; it has enabled them to get jobs and lead better lives as civilians,” said RDRC chairman, Jean Sayinzoga.
Sayinzoga added that other ex-combatants, who did not benefit from capacity building programmes were enrolled in the RDF reserve force, which among others contributes to community service like Umuganda, and participates in various security duties in their respective villages.
Some of the demobilised soldiers, however, secured themselves employment in several private security firms in the country.
Sayinzoga noted that apart from capacity building, the commission currently focuses on offering treatment to ex-combatants injured or disabled during combat.
“We are currently screening about 500 to undergo surgery. We have treated many more in the past,” Sayinzoga observed.
Over Rwf 65 million is spent monthly as support allowances to ex-combatants living with disabilities.