DR Congo begins the abolishment of rebels in troubled Ituri - Africa News
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DR Congo begins the abolishment of rebels in troubled Ituri

DR Congo begins the abolishment of rebels in troubled Ituri

Eight months after the peace agreement was reached, the DR Congo government has begun the process of disarming the rebel movement that has been active in the province of Ituri for two decades.

The agreement signed between the government and the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Itory (FRPI) in the presence of the United Nations provided for a ceasefire and the enlistment of FRPI fighters.

Thirty-one FRPI militia fighters handed over their weapons to the DR Congo Armed Forces. An AFP spokesman said at an official event on Saturday.

They were taken to the village of Kasana in Ituri for social reunification or liaison with the armed forces known as FARDC. No sense in living in the jungle, there is so much suffering in the jungle. I have come to lay my hands on starting a new life, ”the former gunman told AFP.

“I took up arms to defend our country, today I laid them down for peace,” said another 23-year-old, who joined the FRPI in 2013 and now wants to join the police to “protect the population”.

More than a thousand fighters are expected for this disarmament, which is progressive, said Jean-Marc Mazio, who is in charge of the Eastern DR Congo (Starek) government stability and reconstruction program.

He said the government hopes to completely disarm the group, one of several rebel movements active in eastern DR Congo, and that the reunification phase would take two years in the next two months.

FRPI spokesman Albert Munobi on Saturday urged the government to honor its commitment to the peace deal.

The agreement includes a draft law granting debt waivers to rebels with the exception of war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The FRPI was active until the intervention of the French-led European military operation Artemis, following the ethnic conflict that killed tens of thousands of people in Itouri between 1999 and 2003.

Jermaine Katanga, one of the leaders of the militia, was released from prison in March after the International Criminal Court commuted her sentence to 12 years in prison in 2014 for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The incident sparked controversy in the DR capital Kinshasa after Katanga was released from The Hague ICC in 2015.

From 2004 to 2006, thousands of FRPI fighters were exterminated and enlisted in the Congolese army, but by the end of 2007 the group had begun reform. The gold-rich region on the border between Uganda and South Sudan has emerged from a specific conflict in North Jug. Acreage, about a thousand people have died since December 2017.


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