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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 12, 2005

Statement on Congolese Government's Negotiations with FDLR

The United States congratulates and welcomes the recent renunciation of arms and condemnation of genocide and terrorism by the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels. In a broad effort of negotiations between the FDLR and President Joseph Kabila's Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the FDLR has committed to voluntary disarmament and indicates a willingness to repatriate to Rwanda. We believe that the sentiments that are expressed in the FDLR's declaration reflect the views of a substantial majority of the FDLR.

We urge the FDLR to demonstrate their commitment to peace by turning over all their arms to the United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC). After voluntary disarmament, the FDLR should proceed without delay with plans for rapid repatriation of the combatants and families through close cooperation with the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda, with assistance from MONUC. Furthermore, we look to Rwanda, as well as the United Nations and international organizations, to work with the DRC and FDLR to ensure the expeditious repatriation of FDLR members and their families.

The United States looks forward to working closely with all parties to further our shared interest of building a world in which all peoples can live in peace, freedom, and dignity.

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