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Brief Presentation of Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos during the Zoom Meeting on the situation of refugees in Eastern DRCongo today Monday October 18th, 2021

Presentation  on the sitaution of refugees and asylum seekers in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, during the Zoom Meeting on Monday October 18th, 2021 by Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

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Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos is a Mushi from Kaziba, in South Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo, born in 1976 and lost both parents during the different wars. In 1997 Pecos joined the Civil Society in South and become member of the Civil Society Youth wing called COJESKI. In 2000 while participating in a meeting of COJESKI in Bukavu, he was arrested by soldiers from the Rebel group of RCD Goma. With pressure from various actors he was released few days after on condition that keeps reporting and soldiers have to know his home. Shortly he moved to Uganda in 2000 and in 2003 he started his activism on refugee rights.

Pecos has worked and facilitated many people who have done research, internship and volunteer work on refugee issues in Uganda, he has provided information to various media groups both local and international and he is well known for standing firm to defend the rights of refugees.

Because of strong activism and his failure to compromise the struggle for refugee rights, since the year 2003 up to now, Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos has been arrested and detained in Uganda 24 times, kidnapped twice and held incommunicado twice by various security services who mainly are executers of orders from the refugee regime in Uganda.

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos is the Founder of the Global Refugee Leaders Forum which seeks to empower refugee leaders around the world.

In 2016 Pecos started his work on the situation of refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa and currently the office is based in Goma DRCongo.

Why the work on refugees in DrCongo?

Over the years refugees in Uganda have been recruited into military activities in order to destabilize mostly the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this justifies the connection between refugees, conflict and peace. In the process we observed that refugees and asylum seekers speaking Kinyarwanda are more involved in various military recruitment in Uganda and this developed the interest to understand more about these refugees and how best they may be helped.

But also the statistics from UNHCR indicated that more than 75% of Congolese refugees in Uganda are speaking Kinyarwanda this also motivated the whole curiosity on what happened in the whole process.

In our observations we found that actually most of Rwandans and Burundians do come to Uganda where they are granted a refugee status as Congolese, especially those who lived in eastern DRCongo.

And lastly the internal ethnic tensions among various groups in DRCongo and the presence of refugees and asylum seekers especially in eastern DRCongo which lacks clear understanding and lacks adequate responses motivate the zeal to bring forward the question of “refugee protection in eastern DRCongo”.

Author: Kuliloshi Pecos