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DRC Special Forces soldier refuses to be repatriated

by Sylidio Sebuharara & Kalinda Brenda
11:24 pm
Cpl Mambuve Nevo (with bags) answering EJVM questions

Cpl Mambuve Nevo (with bags) answering EJVM questions

A soldier from DRC force, “Commando” regiment in uniform has categorically refused to return home after being captured on Rwandan soil.

To him, “going back to motherland is kissing death.”

Cpl Mambuve Nevo from Goma station was caught on Rwandan soil on June 22nd in Rubavu, the Rwandan city on the West, bordering with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He surrendered and said he was seeking asylum after his commander stole his money, about 300,000 Congolese francs and threatened to kill him.

According to common practice, Rwanda reported to the contingents of Expanded Joint Verification Mechanisms (EJVM), made of military personnel from the region and beyond and tasked to observe respect of borders between DRC and Rwanda.

When EJVM came for hand over two days later, Mambuve swore he would never return to his country.

EJMV which also includes Mambuve’s countrymen was obliged to go back and plan more tactics how they would convince the young soldier, aged 36, born in Bandundu.

On August 2, EJVM was back in Rubavu expecting the man to have missed home, but he told them he cannot dare follow them.

In his mother tongue, Lingala, Mambuve, shouted at them, “I know what I am talking about; when your commander does not care about your sacrifice to the country, how can you survive? Plus, he wants to kill me,” he said.

Mambuve is a rifleman from his country special force. He is part of 313 Bn/ B Company in Goma.

“Congo is home but I cannot go. I am sorry,” he said.

On these words, members of the EJVM were divided. Some of them suggested he had no point and had only to go back to his country, but others responded it is his right to seek asylum. They resolved to go back and do more consultations on the matter.

Lt Col James Baine who represented Rwanda Defense Force at the event said Rwanda will take care of the soldier until his problem is sorted out.

“Rwanda observes human rights. I am safe here,” Mambuve commented.

Meanwhile, two other colleagues who had followed Mambuve in Rwanda on July 31 and August, 1 respectively were also caught and returned home on August 2. They include Cpl Linzi Zagiri Albert born in Equateur province and Cpl Byamungu Mwari from Rutchuru, North Kivu Province. Despite being married, they also didn’t want to return home.

Since January 2016, seven FARDC soldiers were apprehended on Rwandan soil and returned home by EJVM.

On August 2 also, four Rwandan civilians were handed over to Rwanda. They were allegedly caught by FARDC after trespassing Kivu Lake, DRC side.

Cpl Mambuve Nevo reluctant to leave RDF car that brought him to the border

Cpl Mambuve Nevo reluctant to leave RDF car that brought him to the border