The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has begun verifying the number and status of troops from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) assembled at a base in Kamina, in the Congo's southeastern Katanga province.
According to Namanga Ngongi, the head of the UN mission, the Kamina process - which should be completed in the next two weeks - is a test for the disarmament programme. He told a news conference on Wednesday that MONUC, as the UN mission is known, "is counting on the goodwill of all the parties to bring to a positive end this process which must be completed for the sustainability and credibility of the operation."
Last Saturday, nearly 1800 unarmed men - most of them young, and some injured or handicapped - were presented to MONUC in Kamina on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the census and identification operation.
Over the course of the first three days, 525 ex-combatants responded to a questionnaire and took military practice tests.
MONUC is awaiting the completion of the process of verification to pronounce itself on the exact number, as well as the status, of those who have voluntarily presented themselves for demobilization as disarmed ex-combatants of the FDLR.