Alarm raised as DRC militants return home
From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE return of more than 1 000 ex-combatants before government and demobilization partners had adequately prepared the communities for their return has sparked a precarious situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
This has raised tensions and high possibility of the former militants’ return to armed groups.
Maman Sidikou, the United Nations secretary-general’s special representative for DRC, thus called partners to urgently establish necessary community reintegration measures.
The combatants were returned to communities in the region as part of the demobilization and reintegration process, largely financed by the World Bank.
Years of conflict have affected thousands of combatants as well as spouses and children who have similarly been subjected or witness to violence and conflict in DRC.
Reintegration activities are envisaged to build productive, resilient communities by involving ex-combatants and their spouses and children, as well as community members and vulnerable groups.
The process has coincided with deadly protests against President Joseph Kabila’s prolonged stay in power. His term elapses at the end of 2016 but elections have been shelved, likely to be held in 2018.
Sidikou said the situation in the east was worrying.
“The scope of the threats dramatically outstrips the Mission’s capabilities,” he said.
– CAJ News
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