Over 700 ex-Armed Groups members discharged from Mutobo DC

Excited members of Ex-Armed Groups, and their dependentsduring the discharge ceremony held on May, 24th 2022 at Mutubo Demobilization Centre. 

On May, 24th 2022, over 700 beneficiaries, including members of Ex-armed Groups, dependents and civilians associated with armed groupswere discharged from Mutobo Demobilization Centre in Musanze District after completing Pre-Discharge Orientation Programme course. 

The members ofex-Armed Groupswere awarded certificates after completing the course organized by the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC). The ceremony was presided over by Hon. Gatabazi Jean Mari Vianny. 

In his closing remarks, the guest of Honor, Hon. Gatabazi Jean MarieVianny, Minister of Local Governmenturged the ex-combatants to be patriotic, promote peace and stability in the country and the region.   

He appealed to those still holed up in the jungles of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to lay down their arms and repatriate to their mother land. 

He also cautioned the group against subversive behavior that would threaten the security of the country.  

"You should instead join othersin the national development and work towards improving your families livelihoods,” he added.  Minister Gatabazi also commended neighboring counties and partner organizations that havecontributed to disarmament, repatriation, demobilizationand reintegration of ex-combatants and their dependents in the community.   

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The Minister of Local Government, Hon. Jean Marie VianneyGatabazi, speaking at the discharge ceremony held on May, 24th2022 in Musanze District.  

On her part, the Governor of the Northern Province,Ms DancillaNyirarugerourged the beneficiaries to embrace government development programs aimed at fighting poverty. 

She also hailed President Paul Kagame for good governance which she said has yielded peace and transformation in the region. 

She commended RDRC for its role in demobilizing and reintegrating the ex-combatants in the community.  

The RDRC Chairperson Ms Valerie Nyirahabineza gives a keynote address atMutobo discharge ceremonyon May, 24th  2022. 

Ms Valerie Nyirahabineza, the RDRC Chairperson noted that two years of Pre-Discharge Orientation Programme course had transformed members of ex-armed groups intoresponsible citizens ready to take part in their country’s development.  

Thebeneficiaries received civic education and vocational training skills in various trades including; construction, plumbing, electricity, agriculture among others which Ms Nyirahabinezasaid would help them to live decent lives in their communities.   

She requested Rwandans and local authorities to warmly welcome ex-armed group members and their dependents in the community 

She also urged the beneficiaries to be patriotic and contribute to national development. 

Mr. JanvierRamuli, the Mayor ofMusanze District,assured the Ex-armed Groups members of local leaders’ support in their reintegration process.  

He alsolauded RDRC for its role which he said hasensured peaceand stability in the region. 

On behalf of theex-combatants, Col. (Rtd) Joseph Gatabazicastigated FDLRfor propagating falsehoods which hold back combatants from returning home  

"We were misled whilewe were still in the jungles of DR Congo. This ruined our lives. We lived in agony for so long,” said Gatabazi.  

The 51-year old ex-combatant appealed to members of armed groups they left behind to also repatriate. "Our country is peaceful and lovely, please; come back home,”Gatabazipleaded, in his testimony before the congregation.  The ceremony was attended by among others; RDRC Commissioners, partners and area residents. 

The Minister of Local Government, Hon. Jean Marie Vianney  Gatabazi(R)presenteda certificate to one of the senior ex-armed group members (Rtd) Brig.Gen.DavidMberabahizi (L)at Mutobo Discharge ceremony on  May, 24th  2022.  

 

 The RDRC Chairperson Ms ValerieNyirahabinezahanding over a certificate to an ex-combatant during thedischarge ceremony held on May, 24th2022 at Mutobo Demobilization Centre. 

 

A representative of RDF, Major Gen. Murokore  Eric (L) presented a certificate to one of the senior Ex-Armed Groups members,  ex- Col Gatabazi Joseph at Mutobo Discharge Ceremony on May, 24th, 2022. 

 

 Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director, The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security (R) presenteda certificate to a child ex-combatant at the discharge ceremony at MutoboDCon May, 24th2022. 

 

Minister Jean Marie VianneyGatabazisecond (R) cheers ex-combatants at the discharge ceremony at MutoboDCLooking on is NorthernProvince GovernorMsDancillaNyirarugero (R).

Senior Government officials and other dignitaries in a group photo at the discharge ceremony at Mutobo DC in Musanze onMay, 24th  2022 

Prior to the discharge ceremony, RDRC beneficiaries and area residents played football and volleyball gamesaimed at fostering unity and reconciliation. The PeaceTournamentwas followed by aget together party (Ubusabane) also geared at encouraging peaceful co-existence. 

Beneficiariesdepart to their home Districts on May, 25th 2022 

                                      Voices of ex-combatants: 

Brig. Gen.(Rtd) David Mberabahizi,58,commended the government of Rwandafor welcoming and treating them well from the time they arrived at the centre. He vowed to work together with other Rwandans, and support government programs after being reintegrated in the community. 

Col. (Rtd) Joseph Gatabazi, 51, criticized FDLR leadership for scaring them that once they returned home they would be killed. 

We were misled while we were still in the jungles of DR Congo, he said, adding that staying in the bush for so long had cost them time and lives. 

 We lived a miserable life for long,” he said.  

Col(Rtd) Fidel Nsengimana, 52,vowed to support Ndumunyarwanda program and contribute towards reconstruction of his countryafter resettling in the community. 

ProvidanceBarakifitiye, 43, afemale member fromex-armed groupsthanked RDRCfor supporting women and children while at Mutobo Demobilization Centre. "The Commission is really a mother to us. It has been giving us special care ever since we arrived at the centre Long live Rwanda," she said. 

Private (Rtd) AkayezuAmani, 28, promised to practice what he learnt from the Centre.  

I acquired enough knowledge and life skills to help me develop my family and community as well.     

Major(Rtd) Hussein Maripo, 35,hailed the government of National unity for good governance.   

Notably, the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission is on theforefront in peace building and conflict transformation in the region and beyond. It has attracted several, researchers, universities, students across the globe, war ravaged countries and peace scientists to come andpick lessons as well as exchanging knowledge in regard with repatriation, demobilization, reintegration, peace building and conflict transformation.  

Members of Ex-Armed Groups, their dependents and civilians expressing joy during the Discharge ceremony held on 24th, May 2022 at Mutobo Demobilization Centre.