The United Nations has warned an estimated 800 men and women who deserted the notorious Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to return to Rwanda or face starvation.
The militia are currently in transit camps in DR Congo where United Nations is running short of food provisions.
“We are running short of food. We would like to invite you to repatriate, since we will barely afford your feeding needs for the next one week,” has said MartinKobler, the Head of the United Nations Mission (Monusco) in a visit to their camp in Kisangani, DR Congo.
Since June 2014, FDLR militia was given an ultimatum to lay down arms and repatriate peacefully or face military action but Rwanda said the actors have not been doing enough to enforce the resolution.
Some militiamen surrendered and were put in a transit camp managed by Monusco in Kisangani, before getting transport to Rwanda.
On August 22, Kobler said that, leave alone those adamant to lay down arms, even the militia in the camp are still resisting the UN call to repatriate.
“We think they have their political motives that impeach them to repatriate, yet for us we are here for philanthropy motives,” he said.
He also told them, that the lasting solution of their life is hidden in their mother country, Rwanda where a greater future is guaranteed.
Over 11,000 former militiamen have deserted militia groups operating from DRC and were repatriated since 1997.
They were reintegrated and given startup funds and their life is changing to the better.
Some started small businesses and are now employers. Others returned to school, graduated and are employed in different fields.
The disabled amongst them are given medication and shelter from a budget largely supported by the World Bank.
Meanwhile, the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Thomas Perriello is in the region.
In a visit to Kigali, he met Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and discussed the FDLR threat among other regional challenges.
“The lack of progress in the matter of FDLR disarmament is frustrating. We want to push for progress,” he said.