The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has completed the first phase of repatriation of Rwandan ex-combatants based in Kamina, the peacekeeping mission announced on Wednesday.
MONUC Director of the DDRRR Division (disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement, reintegration), Peter Swarbrick, discussed the repatriation operation of the Rwandan ex-combatants at Kamina during a weekly news briefing.
He said 677 people, in total, were repatriated to Rwanda comprising - 375 ex-combatants and 302 dependants (women and children). He added that other people who were at Kamina dispersed towards the east and the north of the town, after armed clashes erupted on 1 November between the Congolese Armed Forces and some Rwandan ex-combatants.
"MONUC is unsure of the exact whereabouts of these people at present. It is the [DRC] government's responsibility to find them," he said.
The hope was, he said, that these ex-combatants would return to the Kamina camp to be voluntarily demobilised and repatriated to Rwanda.
Those already repatriated are now at the Mutobo camp in Rwanda, where they have been participating in training sessions on the reintegration and rehabilitation process, Swarbrick said. MONUC, he said, had visited them and found that they were well treated, adding that the reintegration and rehabilitation of these ex-combatants were the responsibility of the Rwandan government.
He also said that MONUC was establishing a DDRRR reception centre in Lubero, northeastern DRC, and that Uruguayan troops had already arrived on site to run the centre. He said that reconnaissance teams have traveled to Shabunda, Salamabila, Buniakiri with a view to sensitising foreign combatants and their dependants in those territories to the DDRRR operation.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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