DR Congo: UN welcomes surrender of commander of Rwandan armed group

23 May 2008

A high-level commander of an armed Rwandan group has laid down his arms and voluntarily returned to his own country, the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported today.

The UN mission (MONUC) welcomed the voluntary repatriation of Colonel Faustin Sebuhura, also known as “Minani,” to Rwanda, saying in a statement that Mr. Sebuhura was a hard-line member of the Forces Démocratiques de la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the south of the country in 1994.

MONUC said it welcomed Mr. Sebuhuru’s decision to peacefully lay down his arms, despite the serious accusations that he faces.

The mission said it hoped that this decision by an important officer in the armed wing of the FDLR, which is active within the DRC, would serve as an example and bring about the disarmament and rapid voluntary return to Rwanda of numerous other combatants.

Under the Joint Nairobi Communiqué, DRC and Rwanda have agreed to work together against threats to peace and stability in the region. In March this year a Security Council resolution called on members of Rwandan armed groups operating in eastern DRC to surrender immediately to Congolese authorities and to MONUC.

The Council said these groups had to “immediately stop recruiting and using children, release all children associated with them, and put an end to gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse,” adding that those responsible needed to be brought to justice.

 

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