Congolese Officials Urge Refugees to Return Home

1094 Views Kisoro, Uganda
Provincial Administrators from the Democratic Republic of Congo are attempting to convince a group of refugees who fled into Kisoro district last week to return home. A representative of the Governor of North Kivu Province, Deo Mizerero and Hubert Mashukane representing the King of Rushuru met with more than 10,000 refugees gathered at Nyakabande Airstrip in Kisoro. Mizerero told the refugees that the Congolese government had entered talks with a rebel group led by Laurent Nkunda to ensure that peace returns to the conflict-ridden eastern DRC. He said the government is working with international aid agencies to ensure that anyone displaced by fighting in the DRC would not have to leave the country, but could seek shelter in camps for the internally displaced within the Congo. The refugees did not commit themselves to returning home. They appreciated the efforts of their leaders and said they would only consider returning to the Congo when a peaceful settlement with the rebels has been reached. Meanwhile, early this morning bomb explosions and shelling was heard coming from areas near Uganda's border with the Congo. Ugandan security officials say they are monitoring the situation closely and that more refugees have started re-entering Kisoro district.