Relief as Int’l community cautions DRC authorities against public incitement, ICC should follow suit

Representatives of several international organizations, human rights organizations and pressure groups have come out to condemn the continued grave crimes that are increasingly being committed against Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese and Rwandan Tutsi in the DR Congo, as a result of the Tshisekedi government’s actions.

The petitioners include the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, his Special Representative to DRC Bintou Keita, and his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu. On the long list are also the European Union and the German embassy to Kinshasa among others.

They all called out Kinshasa to “stop with immediate effect” hate speech and crimes that are being committed against those Tshisekedi regime has labelled “enemies” of DRC – those are majorly Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese also known as Banyamulenge, and other Tutsi citizens of the country.

The reaction of the International Community comes at the time when numerous Congolese citizens have fallen victims of the incendiary statements made by President Tshisekedi and his henchmen; something that the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) should consider investigating as far as accountability is concerned.

Tshisekedi himself last Friday blatantly said that “Rwanda seeks to occupy our land rich in gold, coltan, and cobalt for their exploitation and profits.” He was sensationalizing the ongoing Congolese civil war pitting the country’s army (FARDC) and anti-Kinshasa rebel movement- M23. The president’s attack dogs were quick to leverage the speech into brutalizing their targets, something that brought about fatalities mainly in North Kivu and Maniema Provinces.

Tshisekedi also unveiled a militia wing dubbed “Brigade Spéciale de l’UDPS” which is under the auspices of his ruling political party, UDPS. The youthful members of the new militia strutted around with machetes, spears, and hammers among other crude weapons while intimidating and killing Kinyarwanda-speaking Tutsi citizens of DRC.

Those fueling dangerous anti-Tutsi rhetoric include also senior military and police officers such as the Provincial Police Commissioner for North Kivu, General Aba Van Ang, and “men of the cloth” such as Bishop Kabundi Walesa of the “Walesa Centre de Reveil Spirituel/Walesa Ministries”. Bishopt Kabundi has resorted to dressing in full combat attire while inciting his churchgoers to take up arms at their disposal and join hands with FARDC in the “struggle” to get rid of Tutsi citizens in DRC.

It is high time for ICC to weigh in and indict the senior Congolese authorities and their allies.

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