RUSIZI – A group of other 213 Rwandans were on Tuesday repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through Rusizi 1 border.
Security officials at the frontier told The New Times that this latest group comprised of four former combatants of Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and 209 civilians who included 28 men, 49 women and 132 children.
The returnees left the country during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsis, according to immigration authorities.
The civilians were repatriated by UNHCR from the DRC while the former rebels were repatriated by MONUC. They arrived at the border at around 3:30pm.
A security official at the border who did not want his names to appear in the newspaper said that the former rebels were all corporals.
‘I am happy to return to my country. I look forward to working with all my fellow Rwandans and the government in developing our nation. I also appeal to other FDLR rebels whom we left behind in the jungles of DRC to surrender and be repatriated,” said one Corporal Damian Habamenshi.
The group has been living in the areas of Karehe, Walikale, Masisi and Beni in DRC’s north Kivu province. They hail from former prefectures of Cyangugu, Kibuye, Butare, Gikongoro, Gitarama, Gisenyi and the current Eastern Province.
Alfred Safi Uwitonze, the coordinator of Munyagatare Refugee Transit camp said the returnees will stay at the camp temporarily as they plan to transfer them to their respective former home districts.