DRC: Eight Rwandan rebel leaders stuck in Kinshasa
KINSHASA, 11 Oct 2002 (IRIN) - Eight leaders of the rebel Forces democratique pour la liberation du Rwanda, are still stuck in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a week after they were denied entry into neighbouring Republic of Congo.
"We have handed them over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees," Vital Kamerhe, the commissar-general for the Great Lakes peace process, told IRIN.
"Their condition has improved since we began caring for them by giving them food and soap," Fatoumata Kaba, the spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Kinshasa, said. "We are negotiating with countries that might accept them," she said. She declined to name the countries for reasons of security.
The DRC government declared the Rwandans unwanted on 24 September, in line with the Pretoria peace accord of 30 July signed by the presidents of the two countries, Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame. Also in line with the deal, Rwanda has withdrawn its troops from the DRC, which in turn has begun disarming some 2,000 Rwandan Hutu rebels and former soldiers.
The rebels, who are due for repatriation, are being encamped in Kamina, Katanga Province. On Wednesday, 79 of them returned to Kamina after a week-long visit to Rwanda to gauge if conditions were conducive for their repatriation.