Monday, 18 March 2013

German envoy urges FDLR rebels to return

The German Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Fahrenholz, has appealed to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militias holed up in the Democratic Republic of Congo to lay down their arms and repatriate.

He was addressing hundreds of ex-rebels during his visit to Mutobo Demobilisation Centre in Musanze district at the weekend.

Fahrenholz, who was in the company of Mathias Jelvin, the head of Central African Division at the Federal Republic of German, said Rwanda has a bright future for all nationals, urging the rebels to return and be part of the process.

The ex-rebels, who are undergoing reintegration, returned to the country three months ago. 

Jelvin said his country will continue supporting Rwanda in peace and development activities. He said  Rwanda’s demobilisation and reintegration programme is unique on the continent. 

“Other countries have such programmes, but Rwanda is the best with a unique successful programme,” he said. “We are impressed. This is a good peace project which the rest should emulate,” said Mathias Jelvin, who was in the country to witness demobilisation and reintegration activities in Mutobo.

According to some of the former combatants, the government of Rwanda has done a commendable job.

“I don’t believe I used to be an enemy to this government. I was repatriated peacefully at the border in Rubavu. I thank government for accepting us to return home despite the atrocities we committed in 1994,” said Capt. Medard Rusanganwa, a former FDLR combatant.

FDLR is an outfit that is commanded mainly by elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.


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