Plight of Congolese Tutsi citizens should be center stage at Inter-Congolese dialogue in Nairobi

There has been large-scale violence targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese in Congo on perceived allegiance to the M23 rebel movement that’s currently fighting the Congolese national forces.

A silent genocide was revealed by the United Nations Genocide  Prevention office, and that has raised a red flag on the situation in DRC.

As if to confirm this situation, the M23 was excluded in the ongoing dialogue under auspices of the East African Community (the Nairobi Process), and the Congolese government is culpable. The Tshisekedi regime is advancing the usual spurious propaganda that M23 is a “terrorist group.”

However it’s the same “terrorist” group that’s captured territories, after it took up arms to fight the regime that marginalized and persecuted Congolese ethnic Tutsis, because they absolutely had no choice but to defend themselves. In the absence of a responsible, functional state of rule of law, what else could people do?

Any regional or international peace initiative that doesn’t address the persistent persecution (that has led to a silent genocide) of Congolese Tutsi – or the reason M23 chose to fight – is doomed to fail.

Foreign actors involved in the peace process must exercise utmost caution, to avoid falling in the same trap as that of 2013. Bombarding M23 without ensuring the safety and security of Tutsi Congolese citizens (who have all the rights of other Congolese) will never solve the problem.

The politicization of the issue by greedy Congolese politicians pursuing personal gains is what hinders the processes to bring peace to Eastern Congo. If facilitators go by Tshisekedi’s demands alone, they would be deepening the crisis than defusing it.

The persistent externalization of the DRC crisis is a deliberate distraction from the actual issues: which is irresponsible leadership in DRC, and dysfunctional state institutions. Blaming neighbors for DRC’s rampant instability will only escalate the crisis.

It should be avoided.

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