Africa-Press – Rwanda. Members of the Rwandan civil society have called on the international community to help stop “acts of genocide” committed against Tutsi communities in eastern DR Congo.
They say the acts of violence against Congolese Tutsi reflect those witnessed in Rwanda before and during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
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Violence against Congolese Tutsi communities has worsened this year following the resurgence of the M23 rebel group, who are currently fighting the government forces in North Kivu province.
Authorities and military leaders have been reported calling for violence against Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese who are accused of being traitors.
At least two Rwandan organisations have released statements condemning hate speech and the violence targeted at Kinyarwanda-speaking communities, which they describe as genocide.
La Fondation Yolande Mukagasana condamne avec fermeté les actes de génocide qui se déroulent contre les Tutsis de l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo dans le Kivu. @Uhuru_Kenyata @PaulKagame @GeneralNeva @GenocideWatch1 @TomNdahiro @albcontact @EgidieBibio
— Fondation Yolande Mukagasana (@FMukagasana) November 28, 2022
Videos shared on social media show people believed to be Congolese Tutsi being burnt alive and others targeted by acts of cannibalism, while in some cases cows are hacked to death.
“We witnessed, with helplessness and fear, in the media the massacres against the Tutsi in the Democratic Republic of Congo because they were live, we saw the acts of cannibalism of the Congolese Tutsi of Kinyarwanda expression, which were spread on social media,” read a statement released on Monday, November 28 from Yolande Mukagasana Foundation.
“Yet we have heard the calls for help from the victims in general indifference, just like in Rwanda in 1994. And tomorrow we will say that we did not know.”
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Masterminds and members of Interahamwe militia, who committed the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, fled to DR Congo, where, experts say, they spread the same anti-Tutsi propaganda, supported by the Congolese ruling elite.
Recently, the Congolese army FARDC was accused of collaborating with the FDLR, a terrorist group founded by the genocidaires, in the ongoing conflict involving M23.
“The assassins who perpetrated the genocide against the Tutsis of Rwanda in 1994 (FDLR) are currently in action in the Democratic Republic of Congo in collaboration with the Congolese armed forces with the blessing of the authorities,” the statement signed by the organisation’s founder Yolande Mukagasana noted.
It adds: “The reaction of the international community is the same as it was more than 28 years ago in Rwanda. Soon everyone will say ‘never again’. Who would dare to say it again today, so many years since the Holocaust and other genocides?”
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Another organization is Twubake Ubumwe n’Ubwiyunge, which was founded by Rachel Mugorewase, a former Rwandan refugee in DR Congo, who says she witnessed the spread of genocide ideology at the hands of the FDLR.
“We are condemning the genocide being committed against the Tutsi in Congo just because they speak Kinyarwanda,” Mugorewase said on Tuesday in an interview with The New Times.
“Our organization has the mandate of fighting against genocide everywhere in the region and the world over. We cannot sit idly by and watch people commit genocide when we know the impacts it had on us.
“We know some of those who are currently committing genocide in Congo are the ones we left there, who joined the FDLR terrorist group. They speak Kinyarwanda and the tactics they used during the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda are the same tactics they are deploying in Congo.”
Mugorewase said that the acts they condemn include the isolation of Congolese Tutsi, burning them alive, burying them alive and killing their cows – the same acts that were witnessed in Rwanda in 1994.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to all these acts of genocide. We call upon the world and international organisations to save the Congolese Tutsi because it is mandated by international laws,” she said.