Persecution of native Congolese Kinyarwanda speakers is the knot tying Congo’s unending conflict

Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese citizens have faced persecution, discrimination, rape, humiliation, and death since Congo’s independence. Kinyarwanda-speaking (Tutsi) citizens are targeted, just because of who they are. DR Congo has other cross-cutting communities such as the Baluba who also live in Zambia, as a result of the partition of Africa by European powers. The discrimination against Kinyarwanda speaking Congolese based on lies that “they are Rwandan” has to be denounced.

Most of these Congolese Tutsi citizens are in North and South Kivu provinces.

We also have Kinyarwanda-speaking communities native to Uganda, Tanzania, and elsewhere in the region but those in Congo are the ones who have faced the most problems (terror) because of their identity.

It is absurd because the Congolese organic law stipulates that people of Congolese nationality “are all persons who belong to ethnic groups whose members and territory formed what has become the Congo (presently the Democratic Republic of the Congo) upon its independence.”

Kinyarwanda speakers have been inhabitants of the two Kivus since pre-colonial times.

However, their troubles were exacerbated after 1994 when genocide perpetrators fled Rwanda and settled in the Kivus and started sowing the seeds of hatred and discrimination that they had practiced in Rwanda. The tables turned from there and the Kinyarwanda speakers started to be labeled as “Rwandan nationals who should be repatriated back to Rwanda.”

For some reason, it seemed that the genocide fugitives started to be considered as more Congolese than the Congolese of Rwandan descent. Today, many Kinyarwanda speakers are living as refugees in regional countries. Yet, for some strange reason, some powerful global players have failed to see the issue of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese (and the accommodation of genocide perpetrators) as the main cause of conflict in Congo.

Instead of tackling the root cause of the problem, the global players are following false leads which allow the problem to spin out of control.

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