France agreed on Thursday to give the UN Development Programme (UNDP) one million euros (US $1.05 million) towards the disarmament and demobilisation process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
French Ambassador Georges Serre and UNDP Deputy Representative Kwafu Abrefa signed the grant agreement on Thursday in the DRC capital, Kinshasa.
The UN Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, is to implement the disarmament and demobilisation process, which includes the repatriation and reintegration of ex-fighters into society. MONUC Deputy Spokesman Mounoubayi Madnodje told IRIN that 200,000 euros would be immediately available to the mission for its demobilisation reception centre in Lubero, South Kivu Province, which opened in December 2002.
The UN estimates there are 13,000 foreign fighters in the country. "There are about 12,000 Rwandans, the Ugandans are not numerous and the rest are Burundians," Madnodje said.
The UN has already repatriated 750 Rwandan ex-fighters since the demobilisation process began. On Tuesday, South Africa, which is verifying the implementation of the DRC-Rwanda peace accord, repatriated 35 other Rwandans from villages close to the eastern DRC city of Bukavu, South Kivu.
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
Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.
Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.
We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.
Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian.