A visiting delegation of United Nations Security Council diplomats has commended Rwanda on its efforts to demobilise and reintegrate former combatants, particularly ex-FDLR fighters returning from the Congo.
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said she was impressed with how the country was encouraging combatants to voluntarily return home and how it goes on to facilitate those who have returned to reintegrate in society.
The American top UN diplomat was speaking after the delegation’s tour of the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), Mutobo in Musanze yesterday.
“We have seen former FDLR combatants who laid down their weapons with the help of Monusco (the UN peacekeepers in the Congo) and returned home after denouncing the group’s genocidal ideology,” she said.
Amb. Power said the delegation is on a mission to support the Addis Ababa and Kampala frameworks, designed to help restore peace in the Great Lakes region.
Former FDLR fighters at the rehabilitation centre expressed concerns about people they left behind, but Amb. Power told them that everything will be done to ensure that their former colleagues return home peacefully.
One of the former FDLR militants, Jean Paul Mbabazi, said while still in the jungles of DRC, he heard lots of negative propaganda against Rwanda.
“We lived such a terrible life in the forests with our commanders always saying all sorts of bad things about the country. Now that I am back home I can see for myself that everything they used to tell us was utter lies. I wish my former colleagues would know that we are peaceful and also return to their motherland,” said Mbabazi.
According to Jean Sayinzoga, the President of RDRC, Rwanda will continue to demobilise and reintegrate combatants who are willing to come back home.
According to official figures more than 10,000 FDLR ex-combatants have been successfully reintegrated over the last decade.
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.