Rwandan rebel leader goes home

2010-03-23 10:30

THE head of a dissident faction of Rwandan Hutu rebels in the

eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has handed himself to the UN mission for

repatriation to Rwanda, the UN said yesterday.

Colonel Ngoboka Rashidi, 41, arrived at the UN offices in the city

of Goma on Thursday, mission spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai told AFP, confirming a

report on the UN-sponsored Radio Okapi but giving no details.

Rashidi, head of a breakaway faction of the militant Democratic

Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was accompanied by six bodyguards

and a dozen members of his family, the radio said.

“I return to my country to contribute (to its) development, to help

my family,” he said in the radio report.

“I am ready to serve my country because there is no longer any

reason to fight against the regime in Kigali,” he said.

He was to be repatriated to Rwanda yesterday.

The colonel arrived from Lubero in Nord-Kivu province where he led

the Rally for the Unity and Democracy (RUD), the radio report said.

RUD, created in 2006, had close to 400 fighters in January 2009,

according to the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

The Congolese army, supported by MONUC, has since January been

leading a major operation against the FDLR in Nord-Kivu and Sud-Kivu


Since 2002 MONUC has, under a disarmament programme, assured the

voluntary repatriation of foreign fighters and their dependants who are based in

the DR Congo.

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