Congo Refugees To Return Home

The Congolese refugees living in the neighboring country Rwanda and those from Rwanda living in Congo will be voluntarily repatriated to their respective countries in conformity with the international norms established by the HCR. This is the outcome of the agreement signed between Rwanda, Congo and HCR on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 in Kigali by the abovementioned parties. This is a great step ahead toward peace in this region.

These refugees left their respective countries due to the war of genocide in Rwanda that swept away approximately 800 000 people in 1994. After this period the DRC, then ZAIRE was invaded by reformists in conjunction with Rwandan soldiers and this created a big flow of refugees on both sides. The Rwandan army said that they were tracking down the Interahamwe militia who conducted the genocide in their country. These militia carried on great killings in the Eastern DRC in their hideouts of the forests of East Congo. They are mainly based in areas rich in minerals. They exploit the latter as to get finance for their fights and at the same time they make horrible violence on the local populations, especially the women who are often, mutilated, defiled, raped, etc. They export these minerals outside Congo. These minerals are financing violence in this part of Congo.

In Kigali, Mr Mbuyu Kabango from Congo, Mrs Nyatanyi Christine from Rwanda and Mr. Mohamed Boukary representing the HCR agreed jointly to voluntarily repatriate refugees to their respective countries of origin. They agreed to meet in another meeting that will be held in Kinshasa next May 2010 for adopting the practical modalities of this process of repatriation.

This process is worthy existing as a positive sign of the efforts that both Kagame of Rwanda and Kabila of Congo are summoning in order to secure the great Lakes Region.

In order to achieve positively this process, campaigns of sensitization are of paramount importance in both sides. In addition to this, exchanges of information on both customs must be strengthened in order to well manage the refugees movements.