Goma, 10 June 2011 – A dozen Burundian ex-combatants together with 30 dependents have been experiencing an unusually long wait, beyond the legal requirements, in a transit camp pending their repatriation on other banks of Lake Tanganyika.
The ex-combatants are currently at a transit camp of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) managed by the Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement and Reintegration (DD/RRR) program in Uvira which is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
They initially sought assistance from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but could not be obliged because they are ex-combatants.
MONUSCO DD/RRR office in the Sud-Kivu province, then approached Burundian authorities to facilitate their repatriation but no response came forth They further contacted the Congolese Office for Migration whose responsibility it is to repatriate such groups, still without any success.
It is because of the failure to get any positive response that they ended up squatting at MONUSCO’s DD/RRR transit camp. They have been there since December 2010, way beyond the legal three-day period for individuals awaiting repatriation.
Tahina Andriamamonjitianasoa/ MONUSCO