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Archive for the tag “Tshimbulu”

Kasai violence drives over 11,000 Congolese to seek refuge in Angola (21.04.20017)

The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 21, 2017 – A spike of violence in the Kasai Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now forced over 11,000 refugees to seek safety in Angola. Border points and villages inside the Southern African nation have seen a sharp increase in refugee arrivals with over 9,000 arriving so far in April. The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

Those fleeing into Angola continue to arrive mainly in Dundo, the capital of north-eastern Luanda Norte Province.

Refugees reported fleeing attacks from militia groups, who are targeting police, military officials, and civilians who they believe are supporting or representing the Government. After running away from fighting rebel and Government forces, some refugees had to hide in the forest for several days before fleeing to Angola. Refugees are arriving in desperate conditions, without access to clean water, food or shelter.

The situation among children is dire, as many arriving malnourished and sick – suffering from diarrhea, fever and malaria. Two children are reported to have already died from severe malnutrition. UNHCR is concerned for the fate of others suffering from worrying levels of food insecurity and illnesses.

The new arrivals are terrified and still fear for their lives and mentioned they do not have any immediate plans to return home. Some parents have reportedly sent their children across the border, worrying they would be forcibly recruited by the militias if they had stayed in the DRC.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is currently coordinating refugee response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground. We are also negotiating with the Government for proper hosting sites as the current border locations are overcrowded and not suitable. UNHCR is sending an additional emergency team to Dundo this Saturday to support relief efforts.

UNHCR is in the process of shipping family tents, kitchens sets, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and other essential relief items to the area.

Further aid is urgently needed, as refugees are forced to stay in makeshift buildings in the border villages. Angola’s wet season peaks in April, and UNHCR is especially worried about the ongoing rains –– which could further complicate living conditions and the health of refugees, especially the most vulnerable such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

UNHCR welcomes the response of the Government of Angola in keeping its borders open for continued refugee arrivals. We hope that this gesture of goodwill will continue as the situation remains dire in DRC’s Kasai region. UNHCR is also underlining the importance of not returning people in need of international protection to the DRC.

DRC: “Further mass graves and killings discovered in Kasais” says Zeid (19.04.2017)

This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 19, 2017 – UN investigators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have confirmed the existence of at least 17 further mass graves in Kasai Central Province, which has been the scene of clashes between soldiers and members of a local militia known as Kamuina Nsapu. This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

The presence of the additional graves was confirmed during an investigation mission to Kasai Central between 5 and 7 April by staff from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and UN Police (UNPOL).

Fifteen of the mass graves were in a cemetery in the town of Tshimbulu and two in the locality of Tshienke. The UN team gathered information that soldiers from the Forces armées de la Republique démocratique du Congo (FARDC) had reportedly dug the graves, after clashing with presumed elements of the Kamuina Nsapu militia between 26 and 28 March. At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes.

The UN team also visited Kananga to gather information about alleged abuses and violations there. Between 28 and 30 March, FARDC soldiers were reported to have shot dead at least 40 people, including 11 children and 12 women, in the Nganza commune of Kananga, and injured at least 21 others. The majority of the victims were said to have been killed in their homes as soldiers went door to door looking for militia members.

Two of the victims died in hospital, while the remaining 38 were reportedly buried by the local population in three mass graves. FARDC soldiers were also reported to have buried an unknown number of bodies in a fourth mass grave in Nganza cemetery.

UNJHRO also received reports that at least two women and three girls had been raped by FARDC soldiers during the same operation in Nganza. Defence and security forces were alleged to have arrested and detained 27 people, including 10 boys and a 15-year-old girl.

The UN investigators, who also visited the Katoka commune of Kananga, heard reports that during search operations by officers from the Police nationale congolaise (PNC) on 28 March, a 23-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and a one-month-old baby had been killed. The UN team was told that the baby had been fatally injured after being trampled on by police officers searching their house.

The Kamuina Nsapu militia, which is loyal to a local customary chief killed by the army on 12 August last year, has been accused of recruiting hundreds of children into its ranks, and targeting state agents and symbols, including government premises, schools, hospitals, police stations, as well as churches. An example of such violence happened on 30 March when about 30 alleged Kamuina Nsapu militiamen attacked the parish church of Saint-Jean de Masuika in Luiza territory, where they ill-treated at least three nuns and a priest, threatening to kill them. In addition, the priest and one of the nuns were reportedly abducted and then released the next day after money was paid. The militiamen also vandalized the church, breaking doors and windows, and burning the priest’s chasubles.

“The discovery of yet more mass graves and the reports of continued violations and abuses highlight the horror that has been unfolding in the Kasais over the last nine months,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“It is absolutely vital that the Government of the DRC takes meaningful steps, which to date have been lacking,  to ensure that there is a prompt, transparent, and independent investigation to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by all parties, and other abuses of justice. My Office has offered its assistance in conducting such a credible investigation. We reiterate our request for access to all sites of mass graves, as well as to all witnesses, including those in detention, and other relevant information necessary to determine responsibility at all levels,” Zeid said.

“The scale and nature of the violence increasingly underscore the need to monitor the situation closely. Should there be no effective national investigation, I will not hesitate to urge the international community to support an investigation by an international mechanism, including the International Criminal Court, which recently reminded the DRC authorities of their primary responsibility under the Rome Statute to investigate and prosecute the alleged acts of violence in the Kasais,” the High Commissioner said.

DRC: Now up to 30 Mass Graves in Kasai-Oriental Province and other reports!

The endless violence that has occurred in the Province since March 2016 to April 2017 has to stop. The killings of innocent civilians as the United Nations finds more and more mass graves in and around Kasai-Oriental. That the Kamunia Nsapu rebels are dangerous is an understatement, but the Armed Forces of Democratic of Congo (FARDC) has really made a manslaughter and something that must reminisce of a genocide. The amount of killings and the systematic destruction of society as the amounts of dead and findings of graves, is only the beginning. With the coming reports of the villages that is looted and the senseless tyranny, that has appeared in the region should worry anyone who care about somebody. There are also towns who has been taken for granted that has gotten issues by the armed insurgency. So the end-game right now is scores of dead and the mass graves as the armed violence continues.

While the International Community condemns the killings of the UN Experts and their interpreter, there isn’t much else than a weaker UN Peacekeeping Mission tabled from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and an unsure political process underway. As the local reports will tell about both condemnation from CRONGD and Reprodhoc, but also other mere facts of the dire situation that is healthy to know.

CRONGD condemns the killings:

The Regional Council of Central Non-Governmental Organizations (Crongd) of Kasaï Central and the Provincial Network of Human Rights Organizations (Reprodhoc) say …” (…)Condemn with the utmost energy the violence, the exactions, the stalking, the killings and the massacres of the populations and the villages in the Kasai space, vigorously protest against any pretension to want to resort to and impose peace by force, knowing that the force Has never produced lasting peace, “they denounced” (…) “… Call for an independent international investigation into the killings and massacres of those currently buried in nearly 30 mass graves, calling for justice..” (Ngonga, 2017).

The Situation in Luebo, Kasai:

The administrator of Luebo regrets that the enlistment kits have been set on fire and even feared the holding of elections in this part of Kasai. He explained that the National Police is not armed to face such an attack: “The police are not equipped to deal with a war that is happening. Under these conditions, the police could only intrench themselves because they were not an army. In Luebo, there were never any soldiers, “concluded Joseph Mbuyi Mubenga” (Ntambwe, 2017).

Government disclaim the reports from Catholic church in the Kasai province:

But in Kananga, it is the brutality of the army that is pointed at, notably by the Catholic church, in the front line on the ground. “It is difficult to understand these reactions of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church speaking of the disproportionate use of force, whereas we do not have the elements on what exactly happened …, “Said Lambert Mende, spokesman for the Congolese government, by telephone” (TV5Monde, 2017).

Government proclaims order:

The military is patrolling to restore order in the region, according to Justin Milonga, who recommended that local people report any cases of slippage in these operations. “If there are cases of slippage, all of us, we are called to denounce them so that sanctions are inflicted on these elements of order. I reassure you … that there are even some officers who are in prison for having slipped on the ground, “he said before calling the residents who fled their homes to return. This deployment is part of the “restoration of public order disrupted by militia activism and not to bother the population,” said Justin Milonga at a press conference” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

So there are reports that are worrying, but there some concern of the matter. It is hard to believe Lambert Mende and Vice-Governor of Kasai Central Justin Milonga, as the amounts of mass graves and the scores of death is arising, the violence and uncertainty isn’t something that seem real. That the army is there and trying to monitor the situation is clear, but the control of the different battalions and knowledge of the rebels activity seem unclear. Even if some of the soldiers are having mutiny can also be asked. Since there reports of military personnel behind bars. Therefore the spokesperson shows there has been transgression within the army of both violence and otherwise, if not the men wouldn’t serve time.

There are so many questions as the numbers of mass graves comes in Kasai-Oriental or Kasai Central, as the brutality and violence aftermath and current state appear. As the local reports of both looting and vandalism, as well as towns feeling unsure about the armed insurgency like in Luebo. The civilians and people Congo, deserve better and the Congolese Authorities has to take action, as their inaction and the probable causes for the breaches against crime against humanity should be looked into. The Presidency of Kabila should not able to walk away from this without a scratch, as his rule is questioned and deservedly so. Peace.

Reference:

Acualite.cd/ Ngonga, Franck – ‘Kasaï Central : Un collectif d’ONG parle d’environ 30 fosses communes et demande une enquête internationale’ (03.04.2017) link: https://actualite.cd/2017/04/03/kasai-central-collectif-dong-parle-denviron-30-fosses-communes-demande-enquete-internationale/

Ntambwe, Stanislas – ‘KASAÏ: LA CITÉ DE LUEBO SOUS CONTRÔLE DES HOMMES ARMÉS’ (03.04.2017) link: http://www.lepotentielonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16740:kasai-la-cite-de-luebo-sous-controle-des-hommes-

armes&catid=90:online-depeches&Itemid=517

Radio Okapi – ‘Kasaï-Central: la population appelée à dénoncer les dérapages des militaires’ ((03.04.2017) link: http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/04/03/actualite/societe/kasai-central-la-population-appelee-denoncer-les-derapages-des?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+radiookapi%2Factu+%28Radiookapi.net%29#sthash.ZffUtZla.dpuf

TV5Monde – ‘RDC : 7 mois de violences au Kasaï’ (03.04.2017) link: http://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/rdc-7-mois-de-violences-au-kasai-162430

Weaken mandate of MONUSCO is a gift-wrapped surprise to Kabila!

We don’t want to just cut for the sake of cutting. There are places we can cut. Everybody knows there’s fat at the U.N. Everybody knows there’s fat in the peacekeeping missions. So that’s why we’re taking each one.” – Nikki Haley U.S. Ambassador to the UN (Westcott, 29.03.2017).

There is something very wrong with our current day of leadership and their pride. If a mission had been finalized and done, than I would understand why they decided to change the mandate or suspend it. What happen at the United Nations Security Council this week, the 31st March 2017 is a mystery to me. It is a unique act of ignorance and lack of understanding, as if the less is better when the acts of oppression and killings happens on a day-to-day basis. When villages and towns are silenced by either government forces or rebels. That the UNSC see it fit to cut their mandate and have less soldiers to be there monitor and control the acts against the civilians. Take a look!

The worrying news from the United Nations:

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops” (…) “In a resolution unanimously adopted, the 15-member body decided to keep the UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2018, but approved 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (…) “In a previous mandate extension, the Council approved 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (MONUSCO, 2017).

That the United Nations Security Council cuts with 3,600 military personnel into the MONUSCO Peacekeeping Operation mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is like a wrapped Christmas gift in early March. Also the cut in in military observers by a 100, only keeping the same amount of police personnel and police units, shows the lack of understanding the fragile situation inside Congo. The Congolese Authorities are oppressive and silencing the citizens, while citizens are dying and even mass-graves are appearing in Kasai-Oriental, as M23 have resurfaced, the Mayi-Mayi creating issues, Kamwina Nsapu rebellion, the ADF-NALU inside the Kivu’s. There are so much violence and killings, still the International Community play foul by stepping down their mission as the situation isn’t becoming clearer or better.

There been issues in North Kivu and South Kivu for long as Rwandese and Ugandan based rebel groups, together with relics of the great-wars of the 1990s are still at large, these are done in systematic oppression, as well as the resources have been exported through channels that even lead to the building of gold refinery in Entebbe recently. Still, this is all happening under the nose of the United Nations Security Council, they know this as of late two of the UN Experts together with their interpreter lost their lives while following up on the mass-graves of Kasai-Oriental. Therefore, that after months of killings in yet another province, that the MONUSCO getting weaker is gift to President Kabila and his violent oppressive army FARDC.

Important cuts of MONUSCO according to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN on the DRC Mission:

““We can reduce the troops tremendously,” Haley would later tell a gathering of foreign-policy mandarins and reporters at the Council on Foreign Relations. President Joseph Kabila’s “corrupt” government, she suggested, may be unworthy of international support from the United Nations. And the U.N. mission, she added, might be compromising its integrity by “aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people.” (Lynch & McCormick, 2017).

Well, what the new Ambassador Haley doesn’t see that if the UN didn’t have a genuine mandate and forces there, than the escalation and the possible worsen efforts from the government could have appeared, as the price of power from the central government hasn’t really showed lack of use of excess force in the past. As well as giving way to rebels to steal and take resources so they can export it to Rwanda and Uganda. That has happen over a decade and shaped the mineral industries, as well as the relationship between the Republics. But I am sure that Haley haven’t read the bloody history or the extended warfare and warlords that has affected the Congolese heartland. That would surely make her think of other than corruption, but also of the amount of innocent people killed. She and the U.S. can replicate their dollars and drop silver dollars again to crash economies as they did in the past. But, to use economy as a reason to give way to President Kabila, seems futile and like monkey-wrenching the UN Peacekeeping mission.

So the cutting of the fat, will also cut the will and possible effects of the UN Mission in the DRC. They are maybe saving some funds, but even creating most likely unknown effects where the stakes are higher than a service adjourned and continues peace. The Kabila Government are far likely fearing the UN and their MONUSCO while knowing that the UN will cut their support and their mandate to save U.S. Tax payers monies. Instead of seeing the benefit of securing the peace in the Congo. Certainly, the nation who was partly involved in the killing of President Patrice Lumumba, should feel their needed support of a peaceful transition and recognize that they also kept the funding of President Mobutu Sese Seko for decades upon end. So the US history in the DRC comes with a price and they should not talk budget, but talk on how to strengthen the MONUSCO’s mandate to secure the civilians, who are used as pawns on the chess-set, while the leaders are trading favors and finding paths to stay in power. Kabila knows this and using all tricks to be able to stay without holding an election or respecting the CENCO agreement. Therefore, the weaken MONUSCO by 3,600 military personnel is gift, a splendid gift to Kabila and his cronies.

Kabila, should be delighted and have an afternoon delight with some liquor and prime cut beef. However, the US administration shows that they are not thinking long-term in policies in their respects to the UN. This will cost more and take more time on their involvement in peacekeeping mission in the future, as the resolving mechanisms and the results of stifling the powers are gone. The mission themselves sometimes doesn’t deliver great results in change, but they keep the violence at bay and also make sure the governments doesn’t extended their power grab. That would change if the weaken mandate of MONUSCO would be even more axed. Peace.

Reference:

Lynch, Colum & McCormick, Ty – ‘Nikki Haley Threatened to Withhold Backing for U.N.’s Congo Mission, Then Blinked’ (30.03.2017) link: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/30/nikki-haley-threatened-to-withhold-backing-for-u-n-s-congo-mission-then-blinked/

MONUSCO – ‘DR CONGO: SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MANDATE, BUT REDUCES TROOP STRENGTH’ (31.03.2017) link: https://monusco.unmissions.org/en/dr-congo-security-council-extends-peacekeeping-mandate-reduces-troop-strength

Westcott, Lucy – ‘U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY: ‘I BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE CUTS TO THE U.N.’ (29.03.2017) link: http://www.newsweek.com/nikki-haley-un-budget-cuts-peacekeeping-575967

DRC: Kasai-Oriental Crisis continues with the killings of the UN Experts and Interpreter Tshintel; still the deaths of innocent civilians buried in all the mass graves should worry the world!

That the Democratic Republic of Congo State Official Lambert Mende today confirmed that the UN Experts taken hostage earlier this month, we’re found in a shallow grace in Kasai-Oriental, he confirmed that the UN Staff Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, we’re found together with their interpreter Betu Tshintel. This happen on the 28th March of 2017. That is worrying sign, but the province has already been hit by dangerous violence that been deadly to villages. So that the men and woman from the United Nations lost their lives while reporting to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

That the death of Michael Sharp, Zaida Catalan and Betu Tshintel, is a sad view of the dire situation in the province, as this is proof of the killings and the armed interference in the daily life.

17 Mass Graves in Kasai-Oriental:

The violence in the former province of Kasai, shaken by the rebellion of the militiamen of Kamuina Nsapu, was invited to a meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on Wednesday 22 March. While the Congolese authorities confirm overflows, the indictment of seven military personnel for crimes against humanity and an investigation into two mass graves in the former province of Kasaï, the United Nations, on their part, are worried about the The alleged existence of at least 17 mass graves in the central and eastern Kasai, as well as barriers to access to these sites and the exercise of their mandate” (RFI, 2017).

Congolese Policemen killed:

A Congolese National Police (PNC) has revised down on Monday, the number of policemen killed on Friday, March 24 in an ambush strained by the alleged militiamen Kamuina Nsapu. According to Colonel Pierrot Mwana Mputu, spokesman of the Congolese National Police, thirty-nine policemen were killed in this ambush” (…) “From Kinshasa to support the police units in Kasai province and on two trucks of troop transport police near Tshikapa, the policemen were ambushed by the militias claiming Kamuina Nsapu, at the village of Kamuesha, 77 km from Tshikapa,” said Colonel Pierrot Mwana Mputu, in a message read on Monday 27 March in the evening on national television” (…) “These policemen, who left Kinshasa on the morning of March 24, were buried by their executioners in a false commune instead of the massacre, said the same source” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

Kabila warned about Kamwina Nsapu:

It is with this message that he urged the base of the PPRD of the federation of the Eastern Kasai to enroll massively and to arm itself morally in order to face the elections at all levels and to win them. He welcomed the resolve of the PPRD, MP and all Kasaiens to prevent any insurrectionary attempt to put the country in chaos and delay the momentum of its development given by the Head of State And moral authority of the MP, Joseph Kabila Kabange. He warned the pockets of resistance of some militias operating under the label of Kamwina Nsapu, whose ruling family has agreed to lower arms and work for peace in this space. “All those who commit crimes under the Kamwina Nsapu label will be treated like criminals and will have to answer for their actions,” he said. This exchange took place in the presence of the governor of this province and federal president of the PPRD Kasai Oriental, Alphonse Ngoy Kasanji and other cadres of this party. Deputy Prime Minister Shadary visited Mbuji-Mayi on March 15 from Mwene-Ditu, Lomami province, to pacify the province in the face of the threat of ex- Militia Kamwina Nsapu. This mission was notably crowned by the surrender of this militia to the authorities, it is recalled” (ACP/FNG/KGD, 2017).

That the death of the UN Experts and the interpreter are bad enough, it is sad that innocent men and woman dies in the DRC. No matter where they come from and how they got there. Still, the deaths of locals, the Congolese citizens in Kasai-Oriental by either the rebels Kamwina Nsapu or the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). The battles and skirmishes of these in the province, proves the who’s deaths that matters.

That the UN Experts are known men and woman who has connections abroad and inside power. They are important in that sense, but still the FARDC massacres and the Kamwina Nsapu rebellion, as the alleged mass graves, together with the killings of Policemen in short time span. This has all been revealed in the matter of this month, March 2017. This proves that the Kabila Government, the Central Government of Kabila, have forgotten to govern or to rule with care of their citizens. That the government are using their army to kill their own and instead of only fighting the rebellion, they are also killing off their own. The rebels killings is bad as it is, but the FARDC isn’t creating a better situation.

All of these unknown men and woman dead in recent months in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a tragedy, that is created by the Central Government, as the postponed elections and unwillingly to leave the power. That the Policemen dies, the citizens and foreigners in a region lost to rebels, who knows and has skills to take life. Certainly, this is a deadly area and is in the deepest crisis. A crisis that has been created and as a reaction to the volatile situation that President Kabila wanted to leave, so that he can come in as the savior and save the Kasai-Oriental. However, the foul play is in order and without consideration of the villages, the citizens and the strength of Kamwina Nsapu. Therefore, the MONUSCO, the United Nations and other Organizations doesn’t have the skill set or manpower to silence the guns.

The Kasai-Oriental crisis, is much bigger than the deaths and murders of UN Experts and Interpreter, FARDC and MONUSCO cannot handle Kamwina Nsapu, that is proven by the massacres, that either is provoked by the rebels or created by the army. No matter what it is the innocent people who dies in the bloodshed. The Congolese men and woman, the Congolese Authorities that doesn’t act upon the war-crimes and let it escalate. The world wasn’t really caring about 17 reported Mass Graves, but a two UN Experts, will make many cry havoc, more than a dozens policemen. Because Zip-Codes matters in this cynical world, as if the innocent civilians of Kasai-Oriental hadn’t deserved a better fate, than being prey to either Kamwina Nsapu or the FARDC. That the MONUSCO couldn’t intervene or act in mercy of civilians proves the lacking mandate of yet another pack of Blue Helmets. Peace.

Reference:

ACP/FNG/KGD – ‘Emmanuel Shadary réaffirme la volonté de la MP de respecter la Constitution’ (27.03.2017) link: http://www.faapa.info/en/2017/03/27/emmanuel-shadary-reaffirme-la-volonte-de-la-mp-de-respecter-la-constitution/

RFI – ‘RDC: l’ONU soupçonne l’existence d’au moins 17 fosses communes dans les Kasaï’ (23.03.2017) link: http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170323-rdc-onu-fosses-communes-enquetes-kasai

Radio Okapi – ‘Kasaï : 39 policiers tués dans une embuscade à Kamuesha (Police)’ (28.03.2017) – link: http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/03/27/actualite/securite/kasai-39-policiers-tues-dans-une-embuscade-kamuesha-police#sthash.PWiIjaHw.dpuf

Joint communiqué of the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Organization of La Francophonie on the situation in the Kasaï provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (28.03.2017)

They express deep concern over the grave situation in the Kasaï provinces, as illustrated by reports that, between 23 and 24 March, about 40 members of the Congolese National Police were killed, during an ambush by the Kamuina Nsapu militia on the road between Tshikapa and Kananga.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, March 28, 2017 – The African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie continue to follow developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) closely. They express deep concern over the grave situation in the Kasaï provinces, as illustrated by reports that, between 23 and 24 March, about 40 members of the Congolese National Police were killed, during an ambush by the Kamuina Nsapu militia on the road between Tshikapa and Kananga.

The four partner organizations condemn this despicable act and express their condolences to the families of the victims. They further condemn all other acts of violence and violations of human rights that have recently taken place in the Kasaïs.

The levels of violence as well as reports of human rights violations witnessed in some parts of the DRC require an urgent response from the country’s political leaders. In this context, they urge the defence and security forces to exercise restraint in the efforts to restore order in the Kasaïs, and encourage the continuation of the recently-initiated dialogue between the Government and the Kamuina Nsapu militia, in order to find a peaceful solution to the situation in the Kasaïs. They reiterate the need for a credible investigation to shed light on human rights violations and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. In this regard, they welcome the steps announced by the Government and look forward to their follow-up.

The four organizations underscore the urgency to fully implement the 31 December 2016 political agreement facilitated by the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO), including the appointment, in line with the relevant provisions of that Agreement, of a Prime Minister from the Opposition. Such progress will help facilitate the country’s stabilization, the restoration of law and order in areas affected by violence and the holding, within the envisaged timeframe, of the elections that should conclude the transitional period agreed to by the Congolese stakeholders.

DRC: Time to care about the mass graves in the Kasai-Oriental Province!

There is an ongoing civil-war inside the Kasai-Oriental, a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there has been battles between rebels, militias and foreign mercenaries in other regions like North and South Kivu. That Beni, Goma and other towns has been embattled for a decade or more. There are now more worrying reports from Kasai-Oriental province where there are now questioning of the result of the skirmishes and running warfare between rebels against the Kabila government in Kinshasa. This is the militants of Kamuina Nsapu who have fought the civil war against Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).

The violence in the former province of Kasai, shaken by the rebellion of the militiamen of Kamuina Nsapu, was invited to a meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on Wednesday 22 March. While the Congolese authorities confirm overflows, the indictment of seven military personnel for crimes against humanity and an investigation into two mass graves in the former province of Kasaï, the United Nations, on their part, are worried about the The alleged existence of at least 17 mass graves in the central and eastern Kasai, as well as barriers to access to these sites and the exercise of their mandate” (RFI, 2017).

After the revelations about the massacres perpetrated by the Congolese army, the Voice of the Voiceless for Human Rights association is asking the judiciary to extend its ongoing investigations to similar crimes it has documented in the Kasai Oriental. Rostin Manteka, the executive director of La Voix des sans voix, spoke about abuses in the Kabeya-Kamwanga and Miabi territories” (…) “In these two territories the FARDC soldiers have also perpetrated many crimes. Several militiamen were killed there, including innocent people. There were even entire villages burned and people buried for several weeks in forests and bushes. So we want these crimes to be taken into account as well, and I believe that an international investigation would be essential in order to fight against the impunity of crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that all victims of these crimes The injury suffered ” (RFI, 2017).

Executed Rebels:

In a report released on Wednesday (March 23rd) in Kinshasa, the NGODH revealed that 33 people were summarily executed and shot in the territory of Kabeya Kamuanga by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo sent to the scene. “The victims were buried, piled up like cattle in latrines with feet or hands outside in order to terrorize the rest of the population and prevent young people and children from joining the militia. Any bereavement organization was formally banned under pain of suffering the same fate, “regrets Rostin Manketa, executive director of the VSV” (MCN Team, 2017).

That the State and Republic can create 17 Mass Graves and can be in-charge while these crimes and deaths are committed, than we know something is wrong. President Kabila and the Kinshasa regime are now hostile to their own citizens. Citizens that acts upon the unjust behavior and the use of army to oppress their voices and their ballots. The Kabila government are on overtime and doesn’t seem interested in stepping down, as the Presidential Election of 2016 didn’t appear.

Therefore, the violence and killings in Kasai-Oriental province is a proof of the injustice and the illegitimate regime. That they have to kill and bury the reactionary men and woman in the province. 17 mass graves with militia-men and the villages that are burned down. This all done with the force of the Republic Army. An army who has suppressed their own. There was not to long ago a video-clip of the use of killing innocent villagers, that the Kabila government called “Hollywood”, but with the UN findings of 17 Mass Graves! Proves that these video isn’t a rare incident, but more mere fact of the killings done by government.

The villages burned, all men and woman killed, while the world haven’t really acted, as the spiral of violence and all the loss of life. The uncertainty, the fragile situation as the army and rebels are killing each other. There are so many members of families, friends, uncle and unties that has lost their lives and is buried in the mass graves. This is acts of civil war that is occur there.

Clearing Kasai for explosives:

Central DRC has a legacy of explosive remnants of war (ERW) that limit the safe access to certain locations. Thanks to the generosity of the People of Japan, UNMAS, along with its implementing partner MAG, conducted ERW survey & clearance operations in Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Lomami, Maniema provinces. In one year, 124,872 m2 of land have been cleared and over 6,000 ERW and 20,000 rounds of ammunition have been destroyed to avoid potential misusage and proliferation towards armed groups, such as the militias currently operating in the area” (UNMAS, 17.03.2017).

So the violence and armed battles happens with all sort of arms, as there are even use of mines and explosives to explode on civilians and army battalions. All of this together with the other acts of harm, shows the ability to warfare that is in the province of Kasai. Peace.

Link:

MCN Team – ‘Affaire Kamuina Nsapu : la VSV appelle la justice militaire à élargir ses enquêtes au Kasaï Oriental’ (23.03.2017) link: http://mediacongo.net/article-actualite-24995.html

RFI – ‘RDC: l’ONU soupçonne l’existence d’au moins 17 fosses communes dans les Kasaï’ (23.03.2017) link: http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170323-rdc-onu-fosses-communes-enquetes-kasai

RDC: La MONUSCO exprime ses vives preoccupations sur les recents developpements a Kananga (18.03.2017)

RDC: La MONUSCO poursuit activement ses recherches ses personnes portees disparues au Kasai (16.03.2017)

RDC: Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Zambian Authorities warning of Moïse Katumbi entry into Zambia (09.03.2017)

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