News / Africa

DRC Government Says FDLR Rebels Disarming

Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rest near the town of Kibumba at its border with Rwanda after fighting broke out in the Eastern Congo town, June 11, 2014.
Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rest near the town of Kibumba at its border with Rwanda after fighting broke out in the Eastern Congo town, June 11, 2014.
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) information minister says hundreds of rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) from South and North Kivu provinces have been disarming as part of the government’s program to improve security and stabilize the country.

Lambert Mende says the government in Kinshasa is working with its partners, including the administration in Rwanda, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the U.N. peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) and humanitarian groups to help the disarmed rebels to be repatriated to Rwanda.

He says the disarmament program is aimed at protecting unarmed civilians from rebel attacks and improving the country’s overall security outlook.

Mende says about 15 percent of the FDLR rebels are in government camps after they voluntarily disarmed.

“This followed very intense military pressure our army made of them and a call from President Joseph Kabila who offered them to disarm voluntarily so that they can avoid this military pressure,” said Mende. “We discussed with our partners …  [To] help us to receive them, accommodate them, transport them and organize meetings with Rwanda and United Nations High Commission for Refugees to have them back home.” 

The government’s disarmament program is expected to last between the next two to three weeks, according to Mende.  He says the administration in Kinshasa expects other armed groups to also disarm.

Neighboring Rwanda has accused the FDLR of participating in the country’s 1994 genocide. Mende says some of the disarmed rebels participated in the genocide, while others are too young to have been involved.

“Some of them are genociders really, but others are not because I visited the camp the MONUSCO set up in Kanyabayonga, 200 kilometers from Goma, and I witnessed that a majority of them are less than 20 years.  These young men of 15 years, 16, 17 you can’t call them genociders ... there is a lot of Congolese women who are linked with them, fiancé or wives and we have to take care of these compatriots.”

Eyewitnesses in the North Kivu provinces expressed surprise at the sight of the FDLR rebels’ disarmament, especially since the insurgent group has often attacked unarmed civilians in the area.

Mende says the administration in Kinshasa expects many more rebels from the FDLR to surrender and hand in their weapons.  More than 200 of the rebels have handed their weapons to representatives of the government, according Mende.         

“Those in North Kivu and South Kivu, they respond to one command.  That is why we have a group already in North Kivu who gave back their guns and another group in South Kivu and we are following a time table, and we have discussed with them,” said Mende.  “We are waiting for about 1,300 to 1,500,” he says, “this is the number for the FDLR remaining in our country.”
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid