CONDEMNATION OF UNHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT OF RWANDAN REFUGEES SECTIONED IN A MILITARY BARRACKS OF LT GENERAL BAUMA KISANGANI

Justin Bahunga, Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson-FDU-Inkingi

PRESS RELEASE

FDU-Inkingi is very concerned about alleged starvation of Rwandan
refugees sectioned in General Bauma barracks of Lt Kisangani. We have
received information from reliable sources that Rwandan refugees
detained in the above location have not received food for the last 14
days.  62% of the refugees who have been denied food are children. The
aim of this unhuman treatment is to force them to return to Rwanda
against their will.

The FDU-Inkingi condemns in the strongest terms possible the alleged
cynical use of the starvation to Rwandan refugees in Bauma transit camp
to force them to hand themselves over to a notoriously repressive regime
of Rwanda. Heads of these families are former FDLR combatants who had
willingly accepted to surrendered and wanted guarantees for safe return
to Rwanda. UNCHR has failed to offer these guarantees for safe return
and therefore the tactic to send them through coercion.

The same cynical tactics were used in June 2015 in the various transit
camps to force Rwandan refugees to return to Rwanda. A week-long
blockade of food supplies, medical staff human rights organisations’ was
imposed leaving the most vulnerable at risk including children, mothers,
elderly expecting mothers, inside Kisangani transit camp to force them
to return. Alleged leaders were stripped naked and kept in unknown
locations where they were tortured regularly to convince them to return
to Rwanda. Forty-two (42) persons went missing including a mother,
separated from her children. Refugees reported that several women
refugees were raped by Units of the Congolese army involved in the raid
on the Kisangani transit camp.

We would like to recall that such acts constitute a violation of
international human rights law and international humanitarian law i.e.
“deliberate starvation as a means of achieving political goals” and the
violation of the UN Convention relating to the status of refugees that
prohibits forceful return of refugees to countries of origin.

The FDU-Inkingi would like to appeal to all peace-loving people and
human rights organisations to put pressure on the UN to intervene and
stop the use of unlawful and cynical tactics to force Rwandan refugees
to return to Rwanda. The threat of the use of starvation to force them
to forcefully return home was also tried in January this year without
success due to international outcry.

The FDU-Inkingi call upon the UN system and in particular MONUSCO, UNCHR
and UNICEF to help stop this unhuman and degrading treatment of Rwandan
refugees living in Lt General Bauma military barracks.

Done in London, on August 23, 2018.

Justin Bahunga,
FDU-Inkingi Commissioner for External Relations and spokesperson.
Phone: +44-7988-883-576
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