Up to five million people have lost their lives to war and violence in the province of Northern Kivu, to the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations has organized a disarming and demobilization program. Over 15,000 rebels, recruits of the FDLR, have joined it so far. This documentary, written and directed by Unai Aranzdi shares some of their stories.
The fighters are encouraged to call anytime and anywhere and the UN officials will come to their aid and rescue them. Of course, many of them are afraid of turning themselves in. This is because they have done some awful things and fear retribution. It takes a while to convince them that everything is going to be all right.
The men, and sometimes their wives and kids, are then airlifted to a heavily guarded UN camp and then sent by bus to the City of Goma. As soon as they arrive at this place they are issued clean clothes and they are questioned regarding their identity. This is the United Nations Mission to DRC – MONUSCO, which is the demobilization, disbarment, and reintegration camp.
During their stay at the camp the former soldiers receive orientation in order to be able to live peaceful lives in Goma. Because many of them were recruited at a young age and were forced to kill and rape, they carry the emotional scars of trauma and guilt. Many have forgotten what peace feels like.
In the end, they each need to make an important decision: What’s next? How will they live their new lives? ‘Jambo Amani?’ means ‘is there peace’?