Will Tshisekedi ever put self-interest aside and listen to Secretary Blinken’s repetitive concern about hate speech and divisive rhetoric?

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken recently had a crucial conversation with President Félix Tshisekedi, and the urgency of the matter cannot be overstated. Ethnic hatred against the Congolese Tutsi communities in Congo has reached alarming levels, and it’s time for the Congolese ruler to take immediate action.

Disturbingly, it seems that political authorities within the DRC are complicit in fueling this dangerous ethnic hatred, which has led to horrific acts of violence against the Tutsis over the years. To illustrate the gravity of the situation, let’s recall an incident from last June. A deputy from President Tshisekedi’s party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), shamelessly aired inflammatory sentiments on state TV, openly inciting the population to expel Congolese Tutsis and force them to return to Rwanda. Even more alarming, in late July, President Tshisekedi himself publicly called for total war against Rwanda, encouraging his followers to exterminate Tutsis wherever they may be in the world.

Fueling the flames of hatred are various Congolese opinion groups, suspected of having connections with the Tustiphobic Civil Society in the Kivu provinces such as La Lucha. These groups have found a platform on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, where they disseminate distorted information about the crisis in Congo, unjustly placing the blame solely on the Tutsis.

On these platforms, we witness an alarming trend of calls to exterminate the Tutsis. Hate-filled messages flood Facebook and Twitter groups, while disturbing videos of Congolese immigrants demonstrating in front of the Rwandan Embassy in France, spewing Tutsiphobic sentiments, circulate on YouTube.

Moreover, revisionist propaganda, inspired by the speeches of President Tshisekedi and his ministers, has gained traction online. Their aim? To present the genocidal militias of the FDLR, as valiant freedom fighters against the so-called Tutsi dictatorship led by President Kagame. But let’s not be fooled by their cunning tactics. The FDLR openly declared their political goal: to restore the Hutu power tropical nazi regime in Rwanda by toppling the current government and accomplishing what they left unfinished in 1994.

The underlying problem lies in the dangerous Tutsiphobic sentiment that has permeated Congolese society. It leads individuals to perceive a particular ethnic group as the absolute evil responsible for all the problems plaguing the nation. Such a narrow and simplistic vision of the Congolese crisis obscures the true responsibilities and complicity of the Tshisekedi regime.

It remains to be seen if President Tshisekedi will take a decisive stand against hate speech and divisive rhetoric. The concerns expressed by Secretary Blinken highlight the urgency and importance of addressing this issue head-on. The Congolese people deserve a leader who is committed to fostering unity, promoting peace, and combating Tutsiphobia.

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