Rwanda | Coming Home to Rwanda

After years of resistance, former rebels are being reintegrated into Rawandan society

01 January 2010
An ex-FDLR militiaman, his former comrades and their families wait in a United Nations truck in Congo. They were en route to Rwandan border areas prepared for their repatriation.
T.J.KIRKPATRICK/AP IMAGES
An ex-FDLR militiaman, his former comrades and their families wait in a United Nations truck in Congo. They were en route to Rwandan border areas prepared for their repatriation.
T.J.KIRKPATRICK/AP IMAGES

NESTLED IN THE SPRAWLING, verdant hills of northern Rwanda, near the border with The Democratic Republic of Congo, the village of Mutobo is home to approximately 500 Rwandan ex-combatants. And here at Mutobo’s demobilisation centre, former soldiers from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) begin their process of re-entering Rwandan society.

Fifteen years after approximately one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred during the Rwandan genocide, the government of Rwanda is still struggling to disarm the FDLR, an extremist Hutu guerilla army operating in Eastern Congo. The aim is to finally restore peace and stability to Rwanda and the region.

Since 1997, Rwanda’s Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, with the support of the World Bank, the United Nations and international donors has returned more than 25,000 combatants to civilian life.  An estimated 7,000 remain.

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    Keywords: Congo Rwanda Tanya Castle FDLR Rwandan Patriotic Front guerrilla Hutus Tutsis Tuts Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda
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