Dialogue between refugees and one local leader in Goma on the situation of refugees in Eastern DRCongo

Meeting with Refugees in Goma held at our offices on Sunday November 28th, 2021, encounter between refugees and the local leaders.

The other objectives of our information sessions with refugees is to foster dialogue and positive engagement between refugees, the local leaders and the host communities. It is time to speak than considering each other as enemies. In this way we invited the local leader in Kyeshero, Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Opening remarks:

Our meeting started at 2:20 pm with a prayer from one refugee and then was followed by sharing of information among refugees. The meeting was informed about those who were sick, those in detention centers and those who were chased from the house because they failed to pay the rent. Refugees lamented that health centers which offer them medical treatment were not being paid by the partners of UNHCR and therefore they could not extend medical care to refugees.

On the issue of the elections of refugees representatives in Goma, after sharing different opinions we shared with the refugees our intention to write to CNR in form of protest how these elections are being organized, hold a press conference and at the same time considering the option engage at the Courts of Law.

The second point: Welcoming the local leader,

On behalf of COJESKI-RDC Kulihoshi Musikami welcomed the Kyeshero local leader and introduced to him the audience infront him, and at the same time briefed with three issues which are the priority of refugees mainly: Documents, humanitarian relief aid and place of residence, in his cocluding remarks Musikami request the host to advocate for the refugees at the government levels.

The local leader asked refugees who want to say soothing to do so and some pointed at the following: Refugees are being considered as rebels, enemies, the host communities do not make difference between refugees and other people from Rwanda, and the birth certificate for their children among other.

The local leader pointed at the following:

He appreciated the efforts deployed for him to be in the meeting and indicated it was his first time to engage with refugees, because he did not them. We are all refugees on this earth and therefore no one should threaten you, and actually we are all potential refugees in this great lakes region, so we must learn to help and support each other, and fight against discrimination.

On the issue of documents he promised to report to his supervivors who will also engage with the concerned authorities, and also promised to advocate for a well-recognized place of residence for refugees, he encouraged refugees to engage with local authorities and be closer to them, promised to promote the right work for refugees in his area, and asked to work together in order to come up with concrete efforts to address myths, and stereotypes surrounding refugees, and lastly we promised to mobilize other local leaders to get involved in refugee issues.

The meeting ended at 4:30 pm




Author: Kuliloshi Pecos