FDLR Leader Turns To UN For Repatriation From DRC
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 Monday.
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 on Monday.
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 provinces.
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.