The Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) yesterday November 07, 2008 held a consultative meeting with two hundred ex-combatant women from all provinces of Rwanda at Hilltop hotel.
The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the impact of the support they get from RDRC after being reintegrated and to assess the challenges.
The reintegrated women include the ex-FAR soldiers, Rwanda Patriotic Army soldiers, Rwanda Defense Forces soldiers, and other previously armed groups totalling four hundred.
“Women and children are given special support in the category of vulnerability support window, to assist them to attend vocational trainings and education because they encounter special challenges as mothers and ex-combatants,” Jean Sayinzoga the chairman of RDRC said.
Sayinzoga further said that, many countries including Burundi, Central Africa Republic and Liberia have made requests for the commission to provide successfully demobilised women to go and mentor women in those countries.
“The commission and UNDP helped us so much in sending us to Nepal to help their Commission and UNDP to scrutinize the armed forces who were opposing the monarchy to be demobilised, we had to identify the real personal who were armed before the peace talks, and you know what, we did it,” said Jeanne Umurerwa one of the demobilised women.
Captain Judith Mutamba said that, the commission helps the demobilised women cooperatives as Ndabaga, and Iwacu in different areas as education, finding jobs, vocational training.
“We have to make a follow up of your active projects and locations so that we can do what we can for you to achieve your vision, and you have to get involved in the country leadership and activities because your among the reserve force we have,” commissioner Gen. John Bagabo advised.
Assistant coordinator of Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme Francis Mulindabigwi, said that the commission host seminars and workshops with the demobilised women whose purpose is to build their confidence and have a hand in the country leadership.
The demobilisation and reintegration commission was established in 1997 and is supported by the government of Rwanda, the European Union, UNDP and the World Bank.