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Close to 6,000 militiamen to surrender their weapons in Ituri

By Monuc | Published on November 30, 2006

Monuc Soldiers

On Thursday November 29, the last three Ituri armed groups signed a “comprehensive agreement for peace in Ituri”, with the government, by which they agreed to surrender their weapons and to enter the process of DDR -Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration.

Each one of three groups gave their exact troop numbers to the FARDC commander in Ituri: 3,500 for the Front de Résistance Patriotique de l’Ituri ( FRPI) of Cobra Matata; 1,800 for the Front des Nationalistes Integrationistes (FNI) of Peter Karim; and 500 for the Mouvement Révolutionnaire Congolais (MRC) of Mathieu Ngoudjolo.

The FRPI, FNI and MRC have accepted to voluntarily give up their arms, including the verification and stockage of these arms at the regroupment points in the presence of the FARDC, in collabouration with MONUC.

As part of the agreement the militias pledged to “not only to withdraw all their armed forces throughout all the territory within Ituri, but also to put an end to any form of harrassment and ill treatment against the civilian population.”

According to the calendar fixed by mutual agreement by all the parties, the entry of the militia troops into the DDR process must be obligatorily carried out before December 31, 2006, the date planned for the end of the national DDR programme led by CONADER.

Thus the troops of the FNI will enter the centres of transit from November 27 to December 3; those of the MRC from the December 4 to 10, and those of the FRPI from the December 11 to 17.

The Government of the DRC declared their commitment to proposing at Parliament a law of amnesty for all the members of the signatories groups of the agreement; to recognize the ranks of officers up to the executives staff and the battalions of these armed groups; and to facilitate the sensitizing and the regrouping of the elements of each group.”

Also included in the final declaration was the affirmation that the child welfare agencies will be allowed to proceed without delay to the regroupment points in order to identify and deal with any child soldiers”.

Even before the signature of this agreement, 150 children had left the ranks of the FRPI, according to an official in charge of a local child welfare agency.

@Congoplanet |

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