Wednesday, March 03, 2010

DRC: Separatist leader surrenders, charged with human rights violations

Source: Missionary International Service News Agency (MISNA) - The leader of the separatist Congolese Resistant Patriot (PARECO) movement, 'general' Kakule Sikuli alias La Fontaine has surrendered to the regular armed forces in Goma (capital of South Kivu).

Radio Okapi reports that La Fontaine said that his fellow combatants shall join him as soon as the government announces a program for their integration in the regular armed forces. PARECO had resorted to arms in 2007 under the leadership of dissident generals against the insurgents led by pro-Rwandan general Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu.

Having engaed in the peace process that led to the signing of various accords in Goma, La Fontaine then disassociated himself over a dispute with the government in Kinshasa.

News of the surrender could have positive repercussions for regional stability, even if the practice of integrating rebel fighters in the regular armed forces (FARDC) in the Congolese reality is not always an assurance of respect and protection for civilians. In fact, there is news that a group of NGO's has asked for the dismissal of FARDC colonel Innocent Zimunrida, demanding that an inquiry be opened into serious human rights breaches perpetrated under his leadership

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