Meet Aisha Mohamed a Rwandan Refugee in DRCongo since 1994 up to now

Bringing to you the life and situation of AISHA Mohamed, a Rwandan refugee in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo. 


Aisha Mohamed is not her real name, she is currently one among those benefiting from our activities at the office currently.

Life situation in Goma

Like other refugees from Rwanda, Aisha is also renting a small house around Goma, she is a single woman as she lost her husband during the war in DRC, she wanted to get married again to a Congolese man but when the man realized she was a Rwandan, he left her. This is because of the negative attitude of many Congolese against Rwandan refugees who are viewed either as spies from Rwanda, either as part of Rwanda Armed Groups or simply as killers. In order to survive Aisha sells firewood which she collects near Virunga National Parc, she is living with her two daughters, one was a result of rape, the other one was a result of sexual exploitation when she failed to get where to stay, a man sheltered her in exchange of sex and that is how she got that daughter.

Are you proud of being a Rwandan refugee?

Yes, I’m proud of being a Rwandan, but I’m not a refugee because I’m not registered and I do not have a refugee document. Sometimes I say I’m a Congolese Hutu from Masisi especially when there are security risks, but when I trust people I tell them that I’m from Rwanda.  The security of Rwandan refugees becomes bad when there is a Rwandan Military intervention in Congo, because Rwanda soldiers always come to kill us, and deport us to Rwanda.

Have you ever been in contact with UNHCR?

Yes one day, I cannot remember the year, but it has been long now, UNHCR came to us, and then took us to a camp where we stayed for two weeks, UNHCR said it is going to protect us but later on they put us in Lorries and we found ourselves on border between Congo and Rwanda in South Kivu, and we were hand over to Rwanda. In Rwanda they did not even take me home, they put us somewhere and after a month I managed to escape and came back to Congo, and since then I have never been in contact with UNHCR. Actually I fear UNHCR, sometimes I think they may take me back to Rwanda.

I have so many challenges

Personally I need refugee documents that can help me to move freely in different parts of Congo for economic opportunities like any other person, but also for security and protection, I think if we have refugee documents Rwanda will not say anymore that we are rebels, maybe we shall no longer be deported to Rwanda or being assassinated by Rwanda security services operating in Congo.

As per now I cannot move far from Goma, I cannot cross a roadblock because I do not have documents. Here in Goma we live in fear that the Rwanda Army may come to attack us. Look at what is happening. They are helping Internally Displaced Persons but no one has even tried to mind about us, eating is a problem, my two daughters do not go to school, I personally came to Congo as a young girl but I have never been at school.

Why don’t you want to go back to Rwanda?

The Rwandan Government is a serious problem for us Hutus, since 1996 up to now Rwanda is killing us here in DRC, look at what M23 has done against us, if Rwanda is doing to us here in Congo, what will happen to us when we are in Rwanda? There are so many reasons why I do not want to go to Rwanda. I want to live here in Congo.

Why did you leave Rwanda?

One day in 1994, Tutsi came home to look for my father on the ground that he was hiding armed people in our Mosque because he was also a Muslim, they also followed him home and when they reached they did not see any armed person, they shot him together with mother. They also took our elder brother and went with him. Until now we do not know what happened to him. In that very night we left home and met other people on the way towards Congo, on the road my young sister died because of hunger I think, and we left her dead body on the road, we cross into Congo and my second sister also died of Cholera in Goma, I don’t even know where they buried her.

Note: We have avoided sharing with you some parts which are too emotional about her life since 1994 up to now.



Join our fundraising Campaign

We need money in order to claim the well-being of about 4million Rwandan Refugees in DRC.

Here are the links:

Refugee Charcoal Project: Refugee Tailoring Project: Refugee Protection Project:

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

Program’s Manager