We should just lobby the USA, the European Union, Canada, UK, Australia and Japan to stop the flow of money in the name of helping refugees and we shall have peace in Eastern DRCONGO. Let us promote justice and accountability for refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
More than 90% of Congolese refugees in Uganda were displaced either by Uganda Army operating in DRCongo or by rebel groups supported by Uganda since 1996 up to now in eastern DRCongo. And yet Congolese are the second large refugee population in Uganda after South Sudanese. Uganda receives millions of dollars every month in the name of helping refugees, but no one knows where the money goes. Actually some experts argue that 40% of the current Uganda economy depends on refugees.
You may be affected psychology like me, when you watch on a TV, when you listen to the Radio or when you come across Bunagana and see the suffering of people there who have been forced to leave their homes in Eastern DRCONGO. Thousands of people sleeping on the roadside, without food and in the cold.
Both Uganda and Rwanda who are the two countries that host the M23 rebels responsible for the attacks against civilians in Eastern DRCONGO are calling for negotiation, rather than justice for thousands of refugees in camps in Uganda. When will the perpetrators of these crimes be held accountable?
Such move makes M23 rebels the winners and refugees the losers, so they need to kill as many as possible in order to get a Ministerial position and to integrate the national Army. So when shall we ever talk about justice for the victims, especially refugees in both Uganda and Rwanda?
On the other hand, UNHCR in Uganda has never condemned the brutality against civilians in Eastern DRCONGO, UNHCR does not call and make pressure for the end of war in DRCONGO but calls for more money to support those who have been forced to fly, and that is done in the name of humanitarian obligation, and when the money comes to UNHCR Uganda, refugees will never get it, and those who have raised their voices such as Refugee Human Rights Defenders are subjected to all forms of brutality and abuses, and UNHCR keeps silent in the name of wanting to protect many refugees.
Let us leave that a side.
M23 rebels are hosted both in Rwanda and in Uganda, they are supletive to both armies, each time they attack DRCongo they come from Uganda and Rwanda and then go back to Rwanda and Uganda.
Two weeks before the attacks in DRCongo, some members of M23 rebels started disappearing in some refugee camps in Uganda, especially in Rwamwanja where even the Camps Authorities were collecting the Ration Cards of those who have left, or in the process to leave. So Uganda could have stopped this,
The M23 attacked Tchengerero village in Jombo/ Rutshuru North Kivu DRCONGO, that village is exactly the last towards Rutshuru, and pushed all the people towards Uganda, rather than pushing people towards Rutshuru inside DRCongo. Along the way some spies infiltrated in the population motivated all people to move towards Uganda, which they alleged was safe.
Things which were looted by M23 rebels were loaded in a Lorry of Uganda Plate Number, how did that lorry come to that village? No one knows, and the Lorry was taken back to Uganda by the Ugandan Army which came in the name to fight the rebels, leaving the Congolese Authorities with no chance to investigate about this Lorry.
But most of the Congolese remained in Uganda just near the border and refused to be relocated in refugee transit camp in Kisoro.
Two days after most of people decided to return back home, this was not good as both Uganda and UNHCR missed the opportunity to fundraise. Over the weekend, again the same M23 circulated rumors that they would attack Bunagana and now this forced people to run back to Uganda, this time many were taken to Nyakabande transit camp in order to respond to the fundraising drive.
We just have to end the refugee business in Uganda and the eastern DRCongo will be stable.
Uganda badly needs money generated in the name of helping refugees, let us kill this business, we shall not be proud of sending money to refugees in camps, we shall be proud of helping refugees to live in peace in their countries in case we should talk about dignity, respect and human rights.
Kulihoshi Musikami Luc
Specialiste of refugees in the Great Lakes Region
In-charge of Refugees and Foreigners at COJESKI RDC Coordination of North Kivu.