Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are working on deepening cooperation that will see eventual repatriation of members of armed groups to their countries of origin.
In particular there are hundreds of Rwandans still operating in various armed groups based in the jungles of DRC and most include those under the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda ( FDLR) – an armed group largely composed of former members of Interahamwe militia and defeated Rwanda Army FAR.
The Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) is currently making contact with its Congolese counterpart -the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) agency to improve copperation.
On Thursday, November 18, 2021, the Chairperson of the RDRC, the Hon. Valerie Nyirahabineza, received in her office Madame Anne Kroening and Mass Walimba from DDR. The two parties agreed on collaborating and particularly sensitizing Armed groups in DRC forests to return to their homeland.
Anne Kroening is the new Chief of MONUSCO’s Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation Section. It is aimed at disarming members of irregular armed groups to reintegrate them into the society in a democratic move.
Monusco’s Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) has in the past years been disarming, demobilizing and repatriating foreign combatants, especially FDLR, the “Forces Nationales de Libération du Burundi/National Force for the Liberation of Burundi” (FNL), the coalition Allied Democratic Forces, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) opposed to the ruling power in Uganda.
The DRC’s new DDR programme is lauded as a key process that would bring peace and security to the eastern DRC, and sustainable stability in the African Great Lakes region.
For the past two decades, the region has remained embroiled in an unending deadly conflict that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and increased the number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and the proliferation of armed rebel groups has continued unabated.
DDR an important peace building tool that can promote reconciliation, promote the rule of law and enhance the protection of civilians is, however, experiencing a number of challenges including; Logistical resources, Programme implementation, Political context, Instability in the region and Economic decline.