Angelo Habomuremye detained in Rwanda: Kidnapped in Goma last year in 2021 his among others Rwandan refugees deported back to Rwanda

Angelo Habomuremye seems to be detained at Ngando Mutobo Training Center in Ruhengeri Rwanda

According to his family members in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angelo (A Rwandan Refugee Leader) is currently detained in Mutobo Training Center in Rwanda. Angelo disappeared from Goma in May 19th, 2021 in the morning at around 7am. As some of you may recall, on that fateful day, Angelo left his home in the morning and went for an appointment with officers from AIDES (UNHCR Implementing Partner for urban refugees in Goma) but he did not come back, and at around 9am, he was not responding to the phone calls. Later on the AIDES officer refuted the allegation of having fixed a meeting with Angelo, and the whole refugee regime in Goma made pressure on Angelo’s family to change that version and only say that he left home towards town in return they told the family that it will be helped.

Both UNHCR Goma and the Congolese National Commission for Refugees known as “CNR” promised to help the family to find out what happened to Angelo but not much efforts were done, on contrary threats and intimidation were geared towards all of us who kept on making advocacy to seek for information about Angelo.

UNHCR and CNR Goma cannot protect Rwandan Refugees in North Kivu currently

As a reminder more than 95% of Rwandan refugees in eastern DRCongo are Hutus, and they present mostly the entire refugee population in North Kivu at more than 97%. We estimate that North Kivu Province may be hosting more than 800,000 Refugees among them only 200,000 are identified by UNHCR and CNR, among them only 2,500 have valid refugee documents and around 150 refugees have access to humanitarian relief aid mainly these are refugees from Burundi. Neither UNHCR nor CNR can identify where these refugees in the province are because they do not have settlements. It is believed that in case refugees are put in settlement they may not accept to return back to Rwanda, it is the same way that if these refugees are granted humanitarian relief support, they may not accept to go back.

UNHCR implements a discriminatory policy against refugees from Rwanda based on their ethnicity, in order to satisfy the desire of Rwandan Government which aims at forcing refugees to return home.

Both UNHCR and CNR have maintained two activities which are a direct implementation of the Rwandan foreign policy on refugees mainly: Forced repatriation of Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda in which more than 100,000 refugees are estimated have been forcefully repatriated by UNHCR and CNR, and then silent deportation, assassination and kidnapping of those who are viewed as “Rwandan Refugee Leaders” in this practice UNHCR and CNR officers are believed both help Rwanda to identify the targeted refugees and at the same time keep silent when a refugee is kidnapped or deported or assassinated.

The composition of UNHCR and CNR officers is another issue that may attract the attention and makes difficult the protection of Rwandan Refugees, some among UNHCR and CNR officers are from Tutsi ethnicity and seem to be obedient to Rwanda Government, some among these officers are believed to be residing in Rwanda, have their family members in Rwanda or spend their weekends in Rwanda, and some are believed to be members of the RCD Goma Rebel group that was supported by Rwanda and are still backed by Rwanda up to now.

For the refugee regime here in North Kivu to satisfy the will of Kigali, Rwandan refugees are particularly singled out from the aid, most of them live in extremely difficult situations, have no access to housing, education, medical treatment and are not identified among others.

It is our hope that basing on this, you may be equipped with a different information that may help you to advocate for the protection of refugees in Eastern DRCongo.

Right now, we need Angelo back to Goma, his wife and his children need him so much.

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

In-charge of Refugees