It is so unbelievable but true, that it has been over three years that the ongoing genocide against Banyamulenge people in Minembwe, Southern Kivu of the DRC is being implemented almost on daily basis by a DRC government supported coalition of armed militias, both local and foreign. This has been going on in the presence of a well-informed but highly indifferent UN agencies, national, regional and international human right organizations. This is an exact repeat of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda where the UN and the world chose to be spectators for 100 days, watching interahamwe militias as they joyfully slaughtered over one million of innocent tutsis, women and children. Unfortunately, this time countries that were thought to be truly committed to the policy of "Never Again" have joined the rank of the bystander allowing instead " Once Again" be the norm it has always been. Is it because this time it is Banyamulenge the victims? But surely tomorrow it will be somebody else!
Just as it happened with the then Rwandan government, many Congolese politicians and military officials have been supporting the extremist mayi mayi militias, Burundian tribal extremist Red Tabara, FNL and Forebu by providing them munition in order to exterminate Banyamulenge people in their homeland of Minembwe/Mulenge region. The extremist local and foreign armed militias have enjoyed direct and indirect support of logistical nature from government military officials including but not limited to General Muhima, Col Kitenge, Gen Ekembe, Col Mundos and Col. Katembo. It is important to mention that all these high ranking military officials were stationed in Minembwe and provided direct support to mayi mayi militias in the fight between these militias and the local population who were acting in self-defense as it was abandoned by those who were supposed to protect them. Each one of the above military officials openly and publicly supported mayi mayi extremist groups who targeted the local Banyamulenge population in their own villages burning and destroying their villages and looting their cattles. They ( FARDC officers) conspired with the extremist militias by not only providing them with amunitions and needed logistics, but also to steal the livestocks of the Banyamulenge community and regularly share the profit from the stolen cows sold in the regional markets. Knowing fully well that these thugs continue to burn and destroy hundreds of villages of local Banyamulenge population, leaving them as internally displaced people with no single outside humanitarian support.
The population has helplessly brought all their cries for injustice up to the highest level of government, even to the president Felix Tshisekedi Tchilombo. But all their cries have constantly fallen on deaf ears. Since the war broke in March 2017, all government officials from the president to the generals, the DRC government's apparent policy has been that Banyamulenge be left to die and deserve no protection, no security, even not even a humanitarian assistance even amid genocide against them by the armed extremists. Every time a new delegation of government visited Minembwe, it was followed by a power attack from the enemy, and no form of assistance were provided while they found displaced refugees with no food nor shelter.
Thus, let it be known for the record that instead of protecting the local population, the DRC government armed forces ( FARDC) joined forces with the armed groups that they supposedly came to disarm in the first place, and opt to destroy, kill and help to implement the ongoing genocide against Banyamulenge. As a result, over 250 villages have been completely decimated, over 150, 000 cattles stolen and sold in the regional markets and the profits were shared between the armed groups and the government military officials. In the meantime, hundreds of people have been killed and countless wounded and raped women. Meanwhile, the witch hunt for all banyamulenge travelers outside Mulenge region has become the norm. Banyamulenge are prey and victims of militias and government soldiers wherever they go now in the southern Kivu. One wonders until when this injustice and carnage is going to stop. What did the Banyamulenge really do to serve this oppression in their own country? Until when will these atrocities go on? One thing is quite clear, people can no longer take it. Enough is enough. This must end or else.
Furthermore, the sad fact is that even the so called UN peace keeping forces (MONUSCO) have decided to be once again bystanders and do absolutely nothing while the Banyamulenge community is being slaughtered by this coalition of evil murders. The "Never Again" slogan has become the " Once again" reality. The MONUSCO claims for their non-interventionism policy when it's always the Tutsis who are the victims have become an ideology as they are always manifestly unfounded. Everyone knows that they are there for the money not the people. But few people could imagine the degree of their continued immorality after what they did during genocide in Rwanda. They purposely choose to side with the devil instead of protecting people who are in dire need for protection and who should be granted security or at least a minimum protection when being hunted and being chased from their homes. What an immoral organization the UN has become! What a shame! The only time the UN really cares about protecting the victims is only when they are white people, or when it is about protecting strategically mineral based area. Not the people, and certainly if the victims are tutsis. One wonders why the UN hates Tutsis that much. This brings me to the second factor of the vicious wars in the region.
Here I am going to briefly shade a light on the root cause of all this hatred and tutsiphobia. Truth be told, the partition of Africa by the European powers in 1885 has resulted in the endless political violence in Africa. The arbitrary partitioned homelands of many ethnic groups including the Banyamulenge during colonial era is the root cause of all social, political and economic evil in not only the DRCongo, but also in many other former colonies and unfairly partitioned countries which also experience frequent ethnic conflicts from neighboring countries.
It is quite disturbing to see how Banyamulenge people who have been in the DRC before it actually became the country it now is, to be considered as non citizens, rhetoric used by certain Congolese politicians for generations. While it is considered by Banyamulenge to be a hate speech, it is a quite acceptable statement in all spheres of the Congolese society. There are, sadly, a number of examples where politicians have targeted the Banyamulenge community and called them non-citizens. Insults, extremist and hate slogans and incendiary speech, and hate gestures and chants of a racist nature have a great place in Congolese political environment and public places in and around the country. In fact, today there are at least a dizaine of hate speech and incitement to genocide that have been circulating in the all the Congolese social media calling the population to take all kinds of arms and kill every Munyamulenge that they run across. Those who make such speeches are never punished.
The Congolese government has been unwilling to prevent and combat these phenomena,in order to protect the victims and sanction the perpetrators. It is quite clear that the Congolese government and the majority of the ethnic groups do not want the Banyamulenge people in the DRCongo as they eloquently claim.
It is important to state that the only one remaining and responsible solution is the divorce between the Banyamulenge people and the DRC which has chosen to be the ennemi of its people. That divorce entails full separation of the land belong to the Banyamulenge people as their homeland and the one of the neighbors who cannot stand living together. You can not hate a people and love their land as both are inseparable.They cannot continue living in such oppression, discrimination and hate. They have an inalienable right not only to life but also to their homeland. I call for those who were responsible for the partition of Africa to come and facilitate the divorce of this clearly incompatible marriage that they created between the Banyamulenge and the rest of the Congolese.
I also call for the responsible and moral local, national and regional politicians, journalists and opinion-leaders to play a particularly important role by allowing such social and political divorce between two violent parties in a dysfunctional marriage and facilitate an amical and peaceful separation and partition of their estates, because 60 years of independence and violence are enough to conclude that it is totally impossible for the Congolese politicians and their constituencies to abstain from hate, tribalism, xenophobia and negative stereotyping towards Banyamulenge and to promote rights-based values. It is equally important for the Banyamulenge people to eternally live in perpetual violence and oppression. It is self-evident that the local ethnic groups are often entangled in a vicious circle of government-led discrimination and ethnic wars. Its consequences can no longer be largely ignored, bared or denied today.
In conclusion, the Banyamulenge people in the DRC have been particularly exposed to outrageously extreme discrimination and intolerance in many areas of their daily lives culminating to another genocide, that it is no longer bearable. Human rights oblige, human dignity dictates, justice and fairness demand that this people be given their rightly deserve but overdue right to freedom, right to life, and right to own and live peacefully in their own homeland. Since cohabitation has demonstrated its total failure, self-determination must be the final recourse. Therefore, only European countries responsible for this unfortunate failed experiment and the international community can help us live separately peaceful apart for the sake of peace and security of our people and future generations.
For Journal Minembwe