When I was told that “umwana murizi ntakurwa urutozi” I would think of bad guys who never care about others’ suffering. The adage in my mother tongue warns people when they too regularly scream as no one would ever come to help. Helpers would always think that s/he is the one who keeps crying. I hope this time Human Rights Watch had not an intention of jeoparadising the so called “Congolese Tutsi”! I am so afraid that raising this concern would fall within the regularly screaming that hardly finds a supporter or sympathizer?
Through the ‘Special Mission’, Human Rights Watch has been applauded by several Medias as it has discovered a plot to protect and maintain the President Joseph Kabila on power beyond his constitutional mandate. Strikingly, the ‘mission’ in itself is composed by 200 former M23 fighters whom HRW considers by guessing as “Congolese Tutsi”. The word ‘Tutsi’ seems to have been added by the ‘expertise’ that resorts to such divide in order find a culprit on the messes facing Congo. The blogger thinks that there might have been any possible poaching recruitment within the M23 forces as a way of skipping the Nairobi declaration but I remain skeptical on the capacity of 200 fighters to contain the popular rising across Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma. This would only happen if and only if the HRW buys into the narratives of the President working for the interests of “Tutsi Empire”.
While the DRC security forces approximate 350,000 soldiers, policemen and women as well as the members of Presidential Republic Guards, HRW finds an explanation of the crackdown of protests as resulting from the recruitment of 200 ‘ghosts’? And these ghosts would be belonging to the defeated M23 rebel group who fled to Uganda and Rwanda. So then, what has happened on 19th January 2015, 19 September 2016? How had the FARDC, PNC been able to contain the popular uprising before the poaching of these ghosts? Without singling out and guessing the ethnic appurtenance of these M23 fighters, would HRW state that the reports of 2015-2016 were unreliable? I am about to sink within the conspiracy theory of ‘the enemy of my enemy’ becomes an opportunistic friend.
Ci-joint Notre réaction officielle: Le recrutement et l’utilisation des déserteurs et autres indisciplinés radiés par le M23 pour des fins de répression de la contestation citoyenne ont comme seule motivation d’éloigner notre Organisation du peuple ; C'EST INACCEPTABLE. pic.twitter.com/Cz1hIy0IBm
— Bertrand Bisimwa (@bbisimwa) December 4, 2017
200 ghosts able to be dispatched in every corner of DRC’s cities and frighten demonstrators! They are described as ‘ghosts’ who can be deployed in the three large cities of the Congo, within different military units and at the same time having countless deployments. It is unbelievable to figure out how these 200 M23 fighters were deployed in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma and finally serving within the National army, Police and Presidential Republican Guards. Then, they will convince an interviewer for having been deployed at the airport, at the National Radio and Television (RTNC) but also controlling the Congo Central-Kinshasa axis to halt the Ne Muanda Nsemi followers. I really understand how “Tutsi” work as ghost and the popular prejudice it causes! But that is not the end of the “ghost story”. They were deployed across the Lubumbashi city, from Katuba to Matshiapa and they could be spread all over the city to contain Katumbi and Kyungu’s supporters. One would guess that they were too deployed in Birere, Majengo Katindo until Sake. It sounds as beyond my naïve understanding as a villageois.
Je crains que le rapport de HRW produise des effets contreproductifs dans la mesure où elle semait la peur dans la contestation anti-régime plutôt que la raffermir. Ce qui conforterait les objectifs antidémocratiques de l'aile dure du régime.
— Bertrand Bisimwa (@bbisimwa) December 5, 2017
The HRW’s interviewees are guys who can easily enjoy and feel proud to reporting that there has been a lot of meals as mentioned the number 122 (footnote, page 41). While some could individually testifying how they were approached and paid 300$ up to 600$, I hardly manage to connect one’s recruitment to her/his motivations and reasons to individually return back. Just imagine how unconvincing the ones in number 122 or 131 (footnotes) never explain their reasons of returning to Rwanda or Uganda? Moreover, besides guessing the fighters’ ethnic communities, HRW cannot find any other connection if not the Nyatura’s armed group to facilitate their short stay? Would this mean that, except Nyatura, all armed groups in North Kivu can no longer be ‘manipulated’ or these Generals such as Kahimbi Delphin, Mundos, Gabriel Amisi and Kamanzi Francois cannot find any other connection except the one mentioned? I see this as simplistic interpretation of a report that endangers a fraction of the population but also that of military soldiers who can be amalgamated. That is quite dangerous in terms of singling out some ethnic groups as responsible for opposing the politically motivated popular willingness. Had the human rights organization understood the plausibility behind the M23 fighters’ declaration? Does it consider the volatility of socio-security and political context especially the contours around the Eastern Congo violence?
While none of these interviewees ever mention the word “Tutsi”, HRW plays with the fighters minds to guess what they mean by “us” or ‘our community’. HRW believes really in the sense of M23 commanders stating that they are the most trustees to President Kabila? The poaching recruitment needed to send the ‘mercenaries’ back to Rwanda and Uganda while the mission is yet ongoing? Imagine such an operation that allows these fighters to come back to Rwanda and Uganda and settle again in refugees camps? Why hadn’t Bertrand Bisimwa reported the Kinshasa’s maneuvers before the HRW’s report? It sounds as unlikely convincing. Nevertheless, the complexity of Congolese politics is highly agreed upon by many observers but whatever has happened I wish the reporting won’t incriminate the innocents who have nothing to do with politics.
NTANYOMA R. Delphin
PhD Researcher in Conflict Economics
The Institute of Social Studies/
Erasmus University Rotterdam