Since the 28th of December 2018, Rwanda Hutu refugees, survivors of mass slaughter by the Rwandan army in its two invasions of the DRC in 1996-1998, are being hunted down like prey by a joint operation of Rwandan government funded rebel groups and Special Forces of the Rwandan army who have been infiltrated for some time in North Kivu. They are aided by some elements of the regular Congolese army FARDC close to the Rwandan regime. What is shocking is that UN bodies particularly MONUSCO and the UNHCR seem to be unmoved by these atrocities. The voice of UNICEF to defend children whatever their colour, creed or ethnicity is non-existent.

The make shift shelters were burned down, and personal property stolen or destroyed. It is estimated that more than one hundred and fifty refugees have died most of them women, children and the elderly. The refugees are running around in the bush like headless chicken and nobody seems to care about the children who have separated from parents without food, water and medicine for the sick.

The farce of the acclaimed international responsibility to protect could not be any crueller. The two UN organisations have been watching these massacres taking place without “using all necessary means” to protect refugees. MONUSCO’s mission states that it “has been authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, among other things, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence”. Indeed, MONUSCO boasts of having 3,600 early warning alerts transmitted on imminent threats and incidents through the Community Alert Network, mainly from North and South Kivu. MONUSCO prides itself of having “the largest Child Protection Section in any peacekeeping mission” to “protect children’s rights enshrined in international, regional and national legislation (to life, survival and development, for example) and especially protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse”. These refugees have been registered biometrically by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.This seems to be a rehearsal of the massacres committed before with impunity against refugees in order to push them like a herd of animals into the hands of the Rwandan repressive regime.

The Rwandan opposition political platform P5 condemns in the strongest terms possible this inhumanity. P5 calls on the Government of Democratic Republic of Congo and the UN to end these atrocities. If they believe that all human beings are equal, the Rwandan refugees are not less human. The complacent attitude of the international community on these heinous crimes is undermining any serious form of regional peace and stability, and helps create a fertile ground for extremism. We appeal to His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi, who has declared that human rights would be his priority to intervene and save these innocent refugees.

Done in Brussels on February 7, 2019

Marcel Sebatware

Chair Diplomacy Commission – P5-Platform

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