With MONUSCO’s support, armed groups combatants are surrendering to Goma transit camp

Photo: UN

Photo: UN

Goma, 18 July 2015 – Goma DDR transit camp, located in the vicinity of Goma airport, has received combatants from various armed groups active in the eastern DRC: FRPI (Front de Résistance Patriotique de l’Ituri), FDLR (Front Démocratique pour la Libération du Rwanda) and the different Mai Mai groups.

Those ex-combatants generally spend a short stay in the camp, say 5 to 7 days before being either handed over to the Congolese Government officials if they are Congolese or repatriated to their home countries if they are foreigners.

So, on 18 July, the camp received 75 FRPI combatants who surrendered in Bunia following FARDC military operations supported by MONUSCO. Going through the Goma transit camp is a critical step as it is part of the planning for the transfer of the ex-combatants to the different learning centers. On 20 July, Munigi camp received altogether 129 Congolese combatants including 102 ex combatants, 26 child soldiers and one dependent. Regarding foreign armed groups, there were 10 Rwandan combatants in the process of repatriation.

Upon arriving at the center, the ex-combatants receive a kit including clothes and other basic stuff.

The center developed some leisure activities for the ex-combatants: soccer, chess…besides sensitization sessions with a view to turning the ex-combatants to a means for conveying messages to those who are still in the jungle, hesitating to lay down weapons.

So, through such appeals and phone messages, they speak to their brothers and address them the following message: “ please surrender to MONUSCO, why should you die for nothing; there is no reason for you to die while the surrender and reintegration process is real”