Note: We received some reactions about our recent publication of the criminalization of Hutus Refugees in DRCongo. Here is in brief what we can still share with you as our position as per now:
1. There are innocent Hutu Refugees in DRCongo who are in urgent need of protection,
2. Those who are suspected in playing roles during the genocide should be tracked and arrested, but the innocent should not suffer,
3. Civilians Hutus Refugees are not even associated with FDLR activities,
4. Hutus Refugees has reasons why they do not want to go back to Rwanda,
Calling upon a clear explanation from UNHCR RDCONGO, on UNHCR’s visit to the refugee camps in Rwanda in November 2022. And if this is not done in two weeks, we shall call upon public actions for UNHCR to leave DRCongo.
The information at our procession indicates that the Rwandan National Radio may have broadcasted information on the visit of UNHCR RDCONGO to the camps hosting Congolese Tutsi Refugees in Rwanda in November 2022. A month later, we have just followed through several Media Demonstrations of these Refugees in Rwanda wanting to return to the DRCONGO.
This is to be interpreted as a support of these Refugees to the war waged by the M23 which claims to fight for the return of Tutsi Refugees in DRCongo. Serious questions remain answered: Why only Tutsi refugees in Rwanda? Who refused them from coming back home? Tutsi refugees in Uganda and Burundi do easily come to DRCongo, why not those in Rwanda?
We recall that the status of Refugee is incompatible neither with Political nor with Military Activities, during the demonstrations these refugees indicated they want to be protected only by M23 Terrorist group. We are deeply concerned about the discriminatory treatment of UNHCR which aims to privilege certain refugees, especially the Tutsi, by discriminating against the Bantu, in the DRCONGO, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania among so many other countries. While the Bantu Refugees in these countries are victims of the wars led by the Tutsi in DRCongo since 1996 up to now, still more attention is diverted to Tutsi rather than the victims. UNHCR RDCONGO does not have the role or mandate of the Protection of Congolese Refugees in Rwanda, and the Repatriation of Congolese Refugees is a matter of the sovereignty of RDCONGO which cannot be abandoned to Foreigners working in UNHCR.
How UNHCR DRCONGO ended up in refugee camps in Rwanda? With which mission order? How did UNHCR RDCONGO cross the border of RDCONGO? What information did they give to the Congolese Government to justify her presence in Rwanda? What were UNHCR’s goals?
UNHCR does not have a mandate to repatriate Refugees but rather facilitates the Government’s efforts for Repatriation, has the Congolese Government mandated UNHCR? UNHCR has already done a lot of damage against the Congolese and it’s time to account for it. Look at what UNHCR has done in Minembwe so far we no longer know who is a Refugee and who is Congolese in Minembwe among the Tutsi.
Look at what UNHCR has been doing since 1994 until now here in Eastern DRCONGO with Rwandan Hutu Refugees, all wars are justified by President Paul Kagame on behalf of the Refugees and UNHCR remains silent.
Currently the M23 who were Refugees in Rwanda and Uganda occupy part of DRCongo Territory and UNHCR does not give us an account: How come armed combatants have been protected by UNHCR in Uganda since 2013? How did they leave the camps to end up in Rutshuru?
We are giving UNHCR in DRCongo two weeks to address our concerns, and if this is not done we will initiate public actions calling upon UNHCR to leave DRCongo. We refuse any politicization of Refugees, and any use of UNHCR as a political instrument against the DRCONGO.
Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos
Refugee Programme Officer/ COJESKI RDC Provincial Coordination of North Kivu, Tel: +243853191163