Monday, November 29, 2010


 Despite a relative period of peace and some kind of security in most parts of the DRCongo, the Banyamulenge people in their area of High plateau of Bijombo continue to be the target of not only the negative forces, but also governmental forces. According to various sources from the area, a « situation of increasing insecurity is reported in the high plateaux of Uvira district, showing how peace is still far from being achieved in that region ». Reports from the ground comfirm that renewed fights opposing the government troops and the Gumino rebels (FRF) have been going on since last week in KIRUMBA village. Many people in the village have been wounded and hundreds of cows taken away to be slaughtered. Villagers were forced to leave their homes.

These innocent people wonder why the government is not doing enough to protect them, instead causing many of the troubles they suffer today. The majority of the victims are of the Banyamulenge tribe, a minority of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese whom, instead of being protected by the Congolese government, have been daily victims of its government's troops’ abuses and looting over a decade. Since 1996 countless people have lost their lives at the hand of the government, while the international community, does not seem to care much for the survivors whose rights are constantly violated by those supposed to protect them.

Sources from the area say that colonel Claude, from the Banyamulenge community who was much more trusted by them for their security and whose presence there has brought relative security since he replaced colonel Kasai, is soon to be transferred. Neighbouring villages,including but not limited to: Murambya, Nyakirango,Mugethi,Kanyaga,Kagogo,Masata,Kirumba,Gihamba,Gahuna,Maheta, Gatanga,Kinyoni,Bijombo ,Irango,Kajembwe,Masoro,Magunda and Ishenge, are also reported to have suffered the same fate. One of the disturbing facts is that, despite the many abuses from the government army, these poor villagers are the ones that feed them!

It is harder enough for the local population to feed themselves due to low harvest as result of constant conflict in the area, but they also forced to supply food to thousands of troops who sustain themselves by looting the fields of the locals.
An eye witness from one of the villages reports that a climate of fear reigns as more government troops keep being sent to the high plateau of Itombwe (Minembwe territory).
Some of the sad consequences are that many men and young men are being imprisoned for no apparent reasons while women and young girls are forced into sexual abuses every day. In addition to that, these villagers’ cows are getting slaughtered every day.
These people wonder how long this situation will last and when their cry for justice and peace will be heard! How long will take before the International community realizes that the Congolese government has failed in its responsibility to protect its own people. History is once again repeating itself in DRC as the government targets and victimize the population on regular basis. What happened in 1996 might happen again if nothing is done to stop these injustices suffered by the Banyamulenge people.

Journal Minembwe

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