Nearly 300 dissidents from a Rwandan Hutu armed group active in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have been repatriated to Rwanda with their dependents after being defeated by the Congolese army, it was learned on Monday from a military source Congolese.
The 291 Rwandan rebels belonged to the armed group National Council for Renaissance and Democracy (CNRD), a dissidence of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Eleven children were with them.
The transfer ceremony for these captured rebels took place at the Ruzizi 1 border crossing in Bukavu (South Kivu, eastern DRC) in the presence of two generals from the Congolese and Rwandan armies.
« These rebels have been captured by the Congolese army during operations launched against their strongholds since November 26 in the highlands of Kalehe », in South Kivu, said Major Louis-Claude Tshimwang, one of the spokesman for the Congolese army in the region. « Other dependents who remained in the Congolese military camp of Nyamunyunyi have been placed at the disposal of the provincial government » of South Kivu for « good care and preparations for their repatriation ».
On December 8, the Congolese army reported the surrender of 1,200 Rwandan Hutu rebels from the CNRD in South Kivu province.
“To those who still hesitate to lay down their arms or return to Rwanda, I invite them not to be afraid but to stop hostilities and return to civilian life,” said General Major Alex Kagame, commander of the 3rd division of the Rwandan army for the West region, which received the defeated rebels.
He was delighted, indicating that « relations between the Rwandan army and the Congolese army are in good shape ».
In mid-September, the Congolese army announced that it had killed the supreme leader of the FDLR, Sylvestre Mudacumura, targeted since July 2012 by an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On November 10, the Congolese army claimed to have killed another FDLR warlord, Musabimana Juvenal, known as General Jean-Michel Africa.