Rising number of Rwandan refugees a major concern in the DRC

March 2, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Sylvain Muyali

One day following the Congolese army, FARDC‘s, launch of a military campaign for the forced disarmament of rebel FDLR troops, the fate of Rwandan refugees held hostage by the rebels became a major concern to MONUSCO, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the National Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

A joint delegation of the two UN organisations arrived in the city of Sange, approximately forty kilometers from the affected area of Uvira, where they conversed with local residents and authorities to raise awareness and ensure a peaceful existence between those internally displaced (IDP’s), refugees and local population.

At Sange, the respective organisations asked the representatives of local people to guide Rwandan civilians coming from the combat zone to UNHCR, while the FDLR fighters, who would hide among the displaced, are to be directed to the local wing of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission, MONUSCO.

Local sources in Sange have confirmed the movement of displaced Mulengue and Mashuba people to the Kigoma and Sange regions, although dependents of the FDLR, women and children, will be directed to those based at Lemera. The number of refugees is at present unknown, though it has been confirmed that most of the displaced who arrived in Sange are housed in foster homes.

It has also been reported that the DRC Kinshasa government are currently negotiating with MONUSCO to resume their assistance in the ongoing disarmament campaign against the FDLR troops, the organisation’s support suspended following serious human rights violations by two Congolese army generals.

While recognising the broad prerogatives of the DRC to carry out any military operation on its territory, the UN mission regrets its lack of participation in the aforementioned campaign, which is part of its mandate.

 

 

 

 

 

sylvain muyali

Sylvain Muyali

Sylvain Muyali is a Journalist, Photographer and Filmmaker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has reported previously for the Associated Press and his words and images can also be found at ‘Vivons Positivement

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