Ignatienne Nyirarukundo

More than 1,800 wives and children of Rwandan ex-rebels repatriated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last year were allowed to resettle in their home districts on Tuesday after completing an 11-month rehabilitation and reintegration course.

“As you go back to resettle in your home districts we expect your peaceful co-existence with other members of society, fostering peace, loving your country and working for self and national development,” Rwandan Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs Ignatienne Nyirarukundo told the returnees at a send-off ceremony.

The ceremony and the course organized by the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission took place at Nyarushishi Transit Center in Rusizi District, southwestern Rwanda.

Among the group, each of over 1,400 children received 150 U.S. dollars as a resettlement package, while each adult was given 250 dollars.The course they attended covered issues related to Rwanda’s national unity and reconciliation drive, social cohesion, as well as citizens’ roles and responsibilities to the nation.

Since the end of last year, many Rwandans have been repatriated from eastern DRC, and most of them are dependents of former Rwandan rebels who were captured and handed back to Rwanda.The former rebels were sent to a separate camp in northern Rwanda’s Musanze District for the demobilization and reintegration course, while the civilians were sent to Rusizi.

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