Genocide persists in DRC despite tongue-in-cheek statements by Congolese authorities

The UN should not be appeased by the thought that hate speech and acts of genocide have relented because they have not. The hateful messages were sent out by influential leaders of the masses who included senior military and police officers as far as we know, there have been no arrests of any nature concerning the incitements to commit genocide. Once a message goes out, it’s hard to recall it and indications are that members of the Tutsi and Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese communities are still in hiding because they are being hunted. Mobs are still out on the prowl and are killing anyone they find to be fitting the “Rwanda morphology”, which is a euphemism for Tutsi.

Fearing repercussions after regional outrage on social media and from sections of the international community condemning hate speech and acts of genocide, Congolese authorities issued half-hearted statements asking the people not to “identify the enemy by their face” or not to “fall into the trap of the enemy”. But the statements have not done much to curtail acts of genocide that were triggered by their reckless statements in the first place. The agitated population already knows that this is not a stern rebuke from the leaders but a tongue-in-cheek statement followed by a wink.

Furthermore, the hatred against the Congolese Tutsi and Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese is entrenched, especially in Eastern Congo where the Interahamwe genocidaires have lived and contaminated Congolese communities with genocide ideology for decades. The Congolese Tutsi communities have never felt safe since 1994 when the genocidaires fled Rwanda and settled in Eastern Congo. All subsequent conflicts have had a bearing on the Interahamwe presence in Congo in one way or the other, because whatever they touch rots and stinks.

To prevent genocide, the international community, especially the United Nations must ensure the Eastern Congo is swept clean of genocidaires elements by re-igniting and sustaining the repatriation and reintegration process. Considering that Eastern Congo is already contaminated with potent genocide ideology, the UN should encourage and support Congo authorities to institute a truth, unity, and reconciliation mechanism that will see communities live in peace and harmony like they were before the contamination. Once this process succeeds, perhaps Congo can then embark on strengthening institutions to fight systemic corruption and bad governance. Otherwise, the prevailing remedies are missing the problem and instead of solving the problem, they are worsening it.

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