RUBAVU — The recent decision by the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), to close down their district offices has caused anxiety among veterans in Rubavu district.
Speaking at a meeting organized by RDRC in Rubavu recently, one of the ex-combatants who gave his name as Mugwaneza, said he was happy about the new policy of working directly with the grassroot leaders, but said was pessimistic the services formerly got from the district level would reduce.
The media has recently reported that RDRC would close down its district offices, and limit their operations at the provincial levels countrywide.
Responding to their worries, Jean Sayinzoga, the president of RDRC said, "Ex-combatants should not worry about the changes because this is part of decentralisation policy where all the services they formerly got from the district level will be brought closer to them at sector level."
The one-day meeting held at Gisenyi Cultural Centre, brought together representatives of all demobilised soldiers, Sector officials in charge of social affairs and RDRC officials. It was meant to discuss modalities of how the veterans can work directly with the district and local authorities after the closure of district offices later in June.
Sayinzoga explained that the services previously delivered to the veterans at the district level by RDRC will instead be channeled to them through sector leaders in charge of people’s welfare.
"When the district offices close, the ex-combatants’ terminal benefits and other forms of assistance shall be channeled through grass root authorities. Local leaders will be charged with the duty of dispatching payment vouchers to ex-combatants, provide counseling services and identify vulnerable members to be assisted by RDRC."
He added that the ex-combatants were being sensitized to work closely with district authorities because they were now part of the local communities in their respective Cells and Sectors.
According to Sayinzoga, RDRC Provincial offices will retain two staffers, one of whom will be a field officer and the other in-charge of monitoring and evaluation of the ex-combatants projects and their general welfare.