The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday began transferring detained former rebels who will be joining the Government army under a recent amnesty programme.
The 122 amnestied detainees are onetime members of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), which fought a bitter war in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu and are now being integrated into the DRC’s national police and armed forces and a 2008 agreement ending the fighting.
“I am very pleased that this release and transfer of these CNDP members has finally occurred,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Alan Doss said. “It’s an important step in the right direction which will reinforce trust between the Government and the former rebel movement.”
The mission, known by its French acronym MONUC, supported the whole process, verifying different lists, carrying out medical checks, escorting the CNDP convoy to the airport in Kinshasa, the capital, and flying them to Bukavu, the South Kivu capital, where the national military integration programme took over.