168 Hutu Rwandan refugees killed in the East of DR Congo

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PRESS RELEASE No 2019/02/03

The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) would like to inform the International Community, Humanitarian organisations, the media and other concerned with the Rwandan Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of the following:

A. From the 29th of December 2018, over 60 thousands UNHCR recognised
Rwandan Refugees previously living in North Kivu camps of Bwito, Faringa, Rupango and Nyarubande have been under heavy military attacks through a combined military operation involving a coalition of Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF), Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC)-a local militia group.

B. Through Colonel Innocent Gahizi from FARDC, a coalition was formed with treasonous plan in which General Guido of NDC was provided with technical and financial support by RDF. With highly advanced and heavy weapons, on numerous occasions, the NDC militia under the direct command of General Guido brutally attacked and killed unarmed Hutu Rwandan refugees in the above mentioned refugee camps.

C. The scorched-earth operations conducted by RDF using NDC militias and some corrupt FARDC officers against unarmed civilians have resulted in the deaths of 168 Hutu Rwandan refugees including seventy-two (72) children and fiftyeight women in addition to mass displacements creating an alarming humanitarian crisis requiring urgent intervention from the International community.

D. The attacks were also associated with gross human rights violations including rape and torture in which over 49 women and very young girls were victims. The inhumane and deadly attacks have forced refugees and local populations to flee southwards as indicated by recent MONUSCO communiqué. This is in contrary to DRC’s minister of Defense’s statement, which indicated that these mass displacements were of FDRL and other militia groups regrouping with an aim of launching military operations in Rwanda. On this note, we would like to reiterate that MRCD has no links with FDLR or any other military groups in the region as

our FLN forces are stationed in Rwanda. We therefore would like to strongly condemn such reckless and demonizing statement by the Honorable Crispin, the DRC minister of defense, associating unarmed Hutu Rwandan refugees to FDLR in an attempt to strip them of their basic rights as enshrined and guaranteed by the Geneva Convention on Refugees hence have a pretext to continue with their hidden agenda of a silence genocide (see 2010 UN-Mapping Report in DRC)

We therefore would like to call upon the International community and all concerned stakeholders especially UNHCR to denounce these heinous crimes against Rwandan refugees. We ask the International Community to put pressure on DRC government and corrupt FARDC officers to stop colluding with RDF in their ongoing carnage of defenseless refugees.

We are urgently calling upon all concerned Humanitarian Organisations to intervene and provide basic relief aid to over sixty (60) thousands of UNHCR-recognised Rwandan refugees currently facing hunger and starvation at the hands of RDF sponsored militias.

We would like to finish by reminding all individuals, militia groups and government officials conspiring and collaborating with RDF in their ongoing plan of carrying out systematic ethnic cleansing as documented in 2010 UN-Mapping Report, that we are gathering and storing all implicating evidences for potential prosecution.
Yours sincerely ,

Paul RUSESABAGINA
The Chairman of MRCD
http://www.mrcd-ubumwe.org Twitter: @MUbumwe
Email: contact@mrcd-ubumwe.org

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