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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid