The week begun with news that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has been repatriating civilians, claiming to be former rebels of the ragtag Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The news was broken by officials at Mutobo Demobilisation Centre.
According to press reports, Jean Sayinzoga the head of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, (RDRC) said that MONUC has since 2002 been repatriating non-ex combatants and non-child soldiers including former Congolese and Burundian rebels.
Apparently, MONUC has not bothered to screen those who turn up claiming to be rebels abandoning the jungle. It appears some are attracted by the package given to ex-rebels by the demobilization commission to resettle them back into the community.
Sayinzoga revealed that the commission has always pointed out the mistakes of MONUC but they always repeat them. It was also reported on Monday that President Paul Kagame held talks with British Premier Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street in London last week.
During the meeting, Kagame expressed appreciation for UK’s support which he said was producing good results and enabling Rwanda to focus more on issues to do with quality delivery of essential government services to the people.
The two leaders were reported to have also discussed the current situation in Eastern DR Congo. The meeting was also attended by Lord Malloch Brown the British Minister for Asia, Africa and South Pacific.
Action against FDLR promised
It was reported this week that DR Congo President Jospeh Kabila’s envoy to the Great Lakes region Seraphin Ngwej, has said that DR Congo is fed up with the presence of the FDLR on Congolese soil.
Ngwej made the comments on Monday after the end of the sixth meeting of the Joint Monitoring group held in Kigali. He also promised action by his government against the FDLR.
It will be recalled that recently, a joint military plan by Rwanda and DR Congo was approved with the view of ending the problem of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe.
Also in the news this week, were the revelations that the report on the Habyarimana plane crash will be out in February 2009.
The commission of inquiry set up to investigate the cause of the plane crash that was carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana is chaired by former chief Justice Jean Musinzi.
The commission was set up in October last year and has been gathering information. It is reportedly composed of seven people most of whom have a legal background. The commission was supposed to have released the report last month but its term was renewed.
Taxes on fuel cut
Government this week cut taxes on fuel products in order to stabilize fuel prices in the country, despite the high prices in Kenya.
Government officials said dealers had difficulties in importing fuel because of hiked prices in Eldoret Kenya resulting in it being supplied in small quantities.
African Parliamentarians met in Kigali for a consultative workshop of the Pan-African Parliament members of the committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. To deliberate on land issues.
It was also reported this week that a British engineering company TPS Consult, is working on a detailed design for a new airport to be constructed in Bugesera district.
The development was confirmed by Linda Bihire the Minister of Infrastructure.
First lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame on Wednesday called upon youths to desist from mental poverty if they are to become responsible citizens in the future.
She was officiating at the closing ceremony of a three-day retreat attended by 415 students sponsored by Imbuto Foundation.
The government this week through the Minister of Foreign affairs Rosemary Museminali dismissed a report by a United Nations Group of Experts alleging that it was helping a Congolese rebel group, the National Congress for the Defence of the People in its war against the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Also this week Louis Michel the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian aid on Thursday said that there is a positive drive towards the realization of peace in the Great Lakes region.