Another Rwandan refugee in Goma DRCongo was deported to Rwanda by UN Forces in collaboration with the Congolese Army towards the end of December 2021.

This is Pastor David standing up while preaching to fellow refugees in Goma during our meeting last year 2021.

The Bible narrates that during the time of Herod, who wanted to eliminate Jesus, but in vain, Herod then ordered the killing of all young boys below 2 years old, it is the same strategy used against Rwandan refugees in eastern DRCongo. The assumption is clear all Rwandan refugees are genocidaires, they are former Rwandan Army and they are all members or associated to FDLR. Even young child, women, elderly, and other vulnerable groups in put in one basket in or to please Rwanda. On this assumption is based all forms of harmful programs, activities and policies against these refugees.

Known as Pastor David Habimana lived around Goma, in Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three weeks back he was deported back to Rwanda where his life is at risk, and this was done by the United Nations Mission in DRCongo known as MONUSCO in collaboration with the Military Intelligence known as SOKOLA2.

Pastor David is one among refugee community leaders in Goma who are struggling to do what they can in order to help other refugees to cope up with the situation, he used most of his time preaching the Gospel to others. Like it is done to all Rwandans especially the male refugees are blindly considered either as Genocidaires, either former Rwandan army officers, or as member of FDLR militia group based in eastern DRCongo. These accusations are generally common to all Rwandan refugees that have been deported and in most cases the executioners are both the MONUSCO and the Congolese Army, sometimes in collaboration with UNHCR and other agencies interested in this shameful business.

Unfortunately the same United Nations that is supposed to be the custodian of human rights is at the center of refugee human rights violations in eastern DRCongo, as it is in the situation of Pastor David violates the article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on fair hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, Rwandan refugees are not even give an chance to defend themselves.

The fate of Pastor David Habimana

Pastor David had a daughter who was living in Rwanda and as you may know about it, currently a considerable number of Rwandans are running away from Rwanda in order to seek asylum in eastern DRCongo. His young daughter also left Rwanda and as she crossed the border, she was arrested by the Congo General Directorate of Migration in Goma known as “DGM Goma”, in the process she managed to bribe some officers and she escaped and moved toward Goma where she met the father Pastor David who took her home but her bag remained at the Migration, that was in December 2021. After a week, she was called by the Migration Officers to come for her bag, she went and from there she was arrested, and ordered to go and show them where she stayed, after being tortured she took them home and in that night they arrested the father Pastor David but they left his wife and the children.

Pastor David was then detained at Military Intelligence known as “SOKOLA2 Offices in Goma” for two weeks, but as usual for many Rwandan refugees they do all they can to acquire the Congolese Voter’s Card, so David also had that Card and preferred to identify himself as Congolese so that he may survive being taken back to Rwanda. But that could not help him at all.

Causes of his arrest and deportation

At first it was said that he was being arrested because he facilitated people from Rwanda to cross into DRCongo illegally but this could not stand because Pastor David was not involved, then after they changed and claimed that he was arrested because he deserted Rwandan Army in 2012 that also could not stand and later on they changed and claimed that he is a member of FDLR group fighting against Rwanda, with this he was deported back to Rwanda.

People especially fellow refugees who know Pastor David very well have told us that that he has been a civilian during his life, and knows nothing neither about the army nor about politics.

Recommendations

We strongly protest against the continued business of the deportation of Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda, and strongly protest against MONUSCO and the Congolese Army involvement in this inhuman treatment,

We call upon the United Nations Mission and the Congolese Army to put to end this practice of both deportation and forced repatriation of Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda, and put in place the strategy to ensure the protection of Rwandan refugees in eastern DRCongo,

We call upon UNHCR and the Congolese Refugee Commission to claim back their responsibility to ensure the protection of all refugees in eastern DRCongo, and to speed up the identification of all refugees in eastern DRCongo,

Putting in our minds that Rwanda is not yet safe for all her citizens, and the fact that many among Rwandan refugees in eastern DRCongo do not want to go back, we call upon the UN Mission to stop the repatriation of Refugees and put in place the integration programme which will be accompanied by all other durable solutions to refugees,

We call upon all people of good will to stand up and be mobilized against the current strategy put in place of criminalizing Rwandan Refugees, and the strategy put in place to devalue the refugee status in eastern DRCongo, and together we can stand up for the protection of refugees,

We call upon the United Nations to use of her influence to Rwanda in order to return back Pastor David and all other refugees to DRCongo,

We call upon all those concerned about the protection of refugees to engage and lobby the DRCongo Government to ensure the protection and the security of all refugees in eastern part of the country,

We call upon the MONUSCO and the Congolese Army to put in place a fair hearing process to all Rwandan refugees who may be accused of various crimes before any decision is taken for their deportation,

 

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

In-charge of refugees and Foreigners

COJESKI-DRC/ COORDINATION OF NORTH KIVU

Tel: +243973704159, Whatsup: +234853191163

Email: refugeeleadersforum@gmail.com