Goma, 13 March 2013 – Ten armed elements of the M23 rebel group including eight Congolese police officers and two Rwandan soldiers surrendered on 18 February in Goma to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). Natives of the Rutshuru territory, the eight Congolese police officers, backed by the two Rwandan soldiers cited discrimination within their movement, especially in terms of promotion and wages as the main reasons for their defecting.
After preliminary controls of their identification papers, the combatants were handed to the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration, Resettlement and Repatriation (DDRRR) section for assistance.
The combatants reported to MONUSCO police station at Katale, territory of Rutshuru and revealed that a number of their comrades in arms would like to defect as well.
After going through DDRRR experts’ screening, the eight police officers were handed to the Congolese National Police Force while the two Rwandan military members should be repatriated pursuant to the procedures in force.
Over 90 rebel elements of the M23 have reported to MONUSCO, since 1st December 2012.
Clara Padovan/ MONUSCO