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Last batch of IO soldiers in Congo exile to return home

An assessment team from IOT/DPKO UNHQ-NY visited one of MONUC's FARDC Training Camps (FARDC 31st Batalion in Kanyabayonga, Rutshuru Territory) and a MONUC Company Operational Base (COB) from Uruguayan contingent (B-Company, 4th Uruguayan Batalion in Nyamilima, Ritshuru Territory) in North Kivu. Seen here: MONUC Peacekeepers (Uruguayan) standing guard at their C.O.B. in Nyamilima.
Troops of the UN Mission in the D.R.C | photo | MONUSCO

The United Nations says the last remaining group of South Sudanese armed opposition that had been in DR Congo is returning home.

During the renewed fighting in 2016, hundreds fled to the jungles of neighboring Congo where they sought out the protection of United Nations peacekeepers.

Last month, however, the warring parties signed the revitalized peace deal that is expected to end the conflict.

According to the United Nations, the men had over several months been repatriated to South Sudan or moved to neighboring states including Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan.

Florence Marchal, the spokesman for the U.N. mission in Congo, said in a statement issued on Thursday that “the last 12 remaining members left the camp for several destinations including South Sudan.”

The soldiers stayed in a U.N. camp in Congo’s South-Eastern city of Goma on the border with Rwanda.

The 12 were among a total of 744 IO soldiers who fled to Congo and eventually sought U.N. protection.