TRAVAIL ET DIALOGUE
Page d'accueil
A propos de nous
Correspondance et Retrouvailles
Interviews, Entrevues...
Musique
Forum
Emploi
Notes de lecture
Liens

Paper No.31

Discrimination against the Banyamulenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a Tasteless Propaganda

Sloj, S. Litofe, PhD
Political Economy & Public Policy,
Specialist in Comparative and Developmental Economy
Fulbright and World Bank scholar
sloj4214@sbcglobal.net

This Paper addresses five basic issues: The notion of minority in the Democratic Republic of Congo's environment; The fallacy of victimization of the Banyamulenge (i.e. Tutsi living in Congo); The Notion of intercommunity dialogue in the “Grand-Kivu”; The problematic of the return of Tutsi refugees; and Congo's expectation from the Bush Administration, Britain, France, Belgium, and the International Community.

I. Notion of Minority in the Democratic Republic of Congo 's Context

  1. The Democratic Republic of Congo (i.e. former Zaire ) is an agglomeration of 450 ethnic groups. All of them are minorities in the sense that, numerically, none of them dominates, when compared to the sum of the rest. That is, in Congo , each ethnic group is a minority. From this standpoint, Congolese are all minorities. And as such, they must all be protected indiscriminately. 

  2. The “Grand-Kivu” (i.e. North-Kivu, South-Kivu, and Maniema) is an agglomeration of at least 30 ethnic groups. Each of them is a minority, when compared to the sum of the rests. The Banyamulenge being one of them.

  3. A dozen of The “Grand-Kivu” ethnic groups, notably: The Amba (Hamba), the Bhele (Ebhele), the Hunde (Kobi, Rukobi), the Mvuba, the Nyanga (Banyanga), the Talinga-bwisi (Bwissi, Mabwissi), the Tembo (Chitembo, Nyabungu), the Joba (Turned), the Lega-Mwenga (Shile, Rega), the Bangobango, the Nkutu (Nkuchu, Bankutu), the Songoora (Songola, Binja), and the Zimba (Bazimba) are, numerically, more minorities than the Banyarwanda (i.e. Tutsi and Hutu living in Congo combined). The Banyarwanda forming about 0.60 % of Congo 's total population.

  4. For several decades, most of Congo 's ethnic groups live not only in peace; but also, in perfect harmony with each other. Except the Banyamulengue in the “Grand-Kivu”; and the Hema and Lendu in the Province Orientale, specifically in the sub-region of Ituri.

  5. Now, the question that needs to be asked is that: Why is that only the Banyamulenge be the perpetual source of the vicious cycle of terrorism, barbarism, vandalism and savagery, which continue to ravage much of The “Grand-Kivu”? Congruently, why is it that the Hema and Lendu conflict, in the sub-region of Ituri, has exacerbated since Uganda and Rwanda 's senseless invasion and occupation of August 2, 1998 ?

  6. The answers to these questions reside in the Machiavellian attitude of local and regional politicians who continue to misuse the concepts of ethnic minorities, discrimination, exclusion, and genocide to cover up their own criminal activities in the Great Lakes Region; and in turn, smoothly promoting their territorial, economic, and hegemonic ambition in Congo in general, and in eastern Congo, in particular.

  7. Although General James Kabarebe, a Tutsi from Rwanda , former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in Congo's Armed Forces ( Forces Armées Congolaises), under the late Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila; and nowadays Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF), had the courage and, more importantly, the honesty of publicly acknowledging that:

    "The Banyamulenge do not exist. The alleged banyamulenge are, in reality, Rwandese. Because, they speak the Kinyarwanda; and have Rwandan culture. Unfortunately, they are Rwandese opportunists and cowards."

  1. Congolese people, through their newly adopted Constitution via referendum, granted the Banyamulenge, the Congolese citizenship . However, despite this fact, instead of behaving as other Congolese citizens; most Banyamulenge, and especially, Banyamulenge extremists; given their political ties with extremist Tutsi leaders in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; are excelling in their mission of exporting and/or transplanting years of “ Tutsi-Hutu ” conflicts of Rwanda and Burundi in “ poor ” Congo. By doing so, they are consciously and/or unconsciously destroying millions and millions of innocent Congolese lives.

  2. Indeed, we must always keep in mind that: Since Uganda and Rwanda 's senseless invasion and occupation of August 2, 1998 ; over 4 million of Congolese have, so far, been decimated. These 4 million of innocent Congolese decimated, were not mosquitos or africanized killer bees ; but they were real human beings with bodies and souls just like you and me, like any of us.

  3. Due allowance being made, this Congolese holocaust is 7 times higher than that of Rwanda's 1994 genocide; and 1,000 times higher than the casualties of the barbaric terrorism act of September 11, 2001.

  4. Furthermore, rapes, tortures, murders, and starvation of Congolese have been largely documented by the International Rescue Committee, “ Mortality in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo ” May 2001; Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), “ Violence and Access to Health, Results of Five Epidemiological Surveys ”, December 2001; Nightline Series, “ Heart of Darkness ”, Monday January 21 - Friday January 25, 2002; Human Rights Watch , “ Congo: Kisangani Residents Again Under Fire ”, May 24, 2002; and “ The War within the War, Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo ”, June 2002.

II. The Fallacy of Victimization of Banyamulenge

  1. The Discrimination against the Minority Tutsi in Congo is nothing but a naked Fallacy. This is because facts on the ground do not support the victimization that Mr. Azarias Ruberwa, former Vice President in charge of defense and security under 1+4 (i.e. One President and four Vice-Presidents) formula, during the transition period, is trying to convey to the international community.

  2. His irresponsible assessment according to which: “ On practical grounds, Congolese Tutsi are being discriminated against politically and socially, in the same capacity as black people once were in South Africa and in the United States ”, is very deceiving and pathetic.

  3. His assessment is very deceiving and pathetic, because it constitutes a blatant lie and an insult to the memories of thousands and/or millions, of our African America ancestral; as well as, countless of American civil rights heroes, of all ethnic background, who lost their lives to promote the United States founding fathers' ideals of:

    “ A ll men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”.

  4. Mr. Ruberua must apologize to American, South-African, and Congolese people . Because, evidences on the ground show that: Congolese Tutsi and/or Banyamulenge are better represented than all other ethnic groups of the “Grand- Kivu” combined in both, the central and local institutions. Table No.1 below testifies to this.

Table No.1:

Representation of Tutsi (Banyamulenge) at

The Central and Local Institutions In The Democratic Republic of Congo 

Institutions

Names

Functions / Responsibilities

 

1. General Jean Bivegete

General Auditor of the Army

At Central Level:

 

(The Highest Military Magistrature)

Army / FARDC

2. General Masunzu

Deputy Cmd 10th Military Region / Bukavu

 

3. General Malik Kijege

General Inspector of the Army (ex. G4-EMG) FARDC / Kin.

 

4. General Obed Rwabasira

Cmd of 5th Military Region in Kananga / Kasai Occidental

 

5. General Mustapha Mukiza

Cmd Military Base of Kitona (Bas-Congo)

 

6. General Charles Bisengimana

Deputy General Inspector of National Police / Kinshasa

 

7. General Jerome Gagakwavu

EMG / FARDC - Kinshasa

 

8. General Bosco Taganda

Chief of Staff of General Laurant Nkunda

 

9. General Laurent Nkunda

General in Rebellion against the Governement in North-Kivu

 

10. Colonel Bonane

Cmd 4th Brigade Ituri

 

 

 

 

11. Colonel Makenga Sultani

Cmd Bravo North-Kivu

 

12. Colonel Kamanzi Francois

 

 

13. Colonel Munyaru Gerero Frcse

Cmd of Police of Children / North-Kivu

 

14. Colonel Muhindo Francois

Cmd of Brigade Delta in Kichanga / Masisi

 

15. Colonel Francois Zero Bravo

EMG-Army Mixed of Nkunda, (81 th Brigade FARDC)

 

16. Colonel Mutebutsi Jules

In Exile in Rwanda after the rebellion of Bukavu, aJune 2004

 

17. Colonel Rorimbere

Dispo / EMG-FARDC

 

18. Colonel Gishondo Elie

Dispo / EMG-FARDC

 

19. Colonel Padiri Jonas

Cmd of Brigade EQUO at Kimoka-Sake / North-Kivu

 

20. Colonel Bolingo Matane

10th Military Region / Bukavu

 

21. Colonel Birori Benjamin

Military Adviser of Mr. Ruberwa (in Formation in China )

 

22. Colonel Bosogo Venant

Dispo / EMG-FARDC (in rebellion at South-Kivu: G47)

 

23. Colonel Wilson

Deputy Cmd of Brigade Alpha at Nyanzale-Mwense

 

24. Lt Colonel Munyakazi

EMG-Mixed Army of Nkunda (83th Brigade FARDC)

 

25. Lt Colonel Claude Mucho

1/2 Cmd Brigade Charly in Mushaki / Masisi

 

26. Lt Colonel Innocent

Ex 1/2 G4 AFDL/RCD Today G4 E.M-Mixed Army of Nkunda

 

27. Lt Colonel Kabundi

1/2 Cmd Brigade EQUO at Kikoma Sake / North-Kivu

 

28. Lt Colonel Bisamana

1/2 Cmd Brigade Bravo / Rutshuru in North-Kivu

 

29. Lt Colonel Niyibizi

Cmd of Br. Of Brigade EQUO / North-Kivu

 

 

 

Parliament:

 

 

Senate

1. Moise Nyarungabo

RCD

 

2. Edouard Mwanga Chuchu

Independent

 

 

 

National Assembly

1. Dunia Bakarni

MLC

 

 

 

Source : Marie-Madeleine Mienze, Secrétaire Générale Adjointe, « Le PPRD Répond a Ruberwa: Les Tutsi mieux représentés que toutes les tribus du Kivu réunis », Congovision.com, Octobre 22, 2007

Table No.1: (Continuation) 

Institutions

Names

Functions / Responsibilities

Others Public

1. Deo Rugwiza Magera

ADG of Customers Services (OFIDA / Kinshasa )

Services

2. Jean Jacques Ruhara

Director of Autority of Regulation of Telecommunication / Kin.

 

3. Albert Semana

Director of Security Matadi / Bas-Congo

 

4. Leon Muheto

Director of SNEL and Admininstrator of REGIDESO / Kinshasa

 

 

 

At Local Level:

 

 

North-Kivu

1. Rwiyereka Pancrace

Chief of Division of Labor

 

2. Pierrot Kambanda

Provincial Minister of Bugdet and Planning

 

3. Gatambiye Issa

Provincial Director of OCC.

 

4. Rushukuri

Sub-Director of OFIDA / Goma

 

5. Damas Ndagijimana

Chief of Division of Taxation liitigations

 

6. Alphonse Sebananira

Provincial Director of Postages and Telecommunications

 

 

 

South-Kivu

1. Kibibi Kamanzi

Provincial Minister of Agriculture

 

2. General Masuzu

Deputy Cmdr of 10th Military Region

 

 

 

Source : Marie-Madeleine Mienze, Secrétaire Générale Adjointe, « Le PPRD Répond a Ruberwa: Les Tutsi mieux représentés que toutes les tribus du Kivu réunis », Congovision.com, Octobre 22, 2007 

  1. The analysis of Table No.1 suggests that, given that the “Grand-Kivu” is an agglomeration of, at least, 30 ethnic groups; the number of the Generals and the upper officers of the only Tutsi ethnic group in Congo 's National Army, exceeds the number of Generals and Colonels of all other Grand-Kivu's ethnic groups combined. To this list, one should also add the number of 70 Majors and 300 Tutsi Captains.

  2. Furthermore, as Marie-Madeleine Mienze, the Deputy General Secretary of PPRD put it: “ if Congolese people were discriminated against their fellow citizens of Tutsi ethnic group; how can we explain the high number of votes that Mr. Azarias RUBERWA, former Vice President in charge of Defense and security under 1+4 formula, acquired in every Province on the entire Congo's National territory as a presidential candidate during the 2006 elections ”?

  3. Mr. Ruberua who entered in Congo as a political refugee from Rwanda , and today a Congolese citizen; must stop abusing the generosity, compassion, and legendary hospitality of Congolese people.

  4. MR. Ruberua must understand that, in the United States, one of the most democratic nations on this planet, where he is demonizing Congolese people who have accepted him as one of their own; “ No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of the United States' Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President of the United States ” (See, The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1, point 5).

  5. But Congolese people, being generous and hospitable as they are, allowed him to assume the position of Vice President in charge of Defense and Security during the transition period; and allowed him to compete as presidential candidate during the 2006 presidential election.

  6. Besides, Mr. Ruberua must understand that, if he was an American citizen, with his anti patriotic behavior, and the total disloyalty that he is demonstrating vis-à-vis Congolese Consitution; he could already well be spending the rest of his life in prison for “ High Treason ”.

  7. Furthermore, if the Banyamulenge were being discriminated against in Congo, how can we explain the fact that Mr. Moise Nyarungabo, a Congolese Tutsi , was able to be elected Senator in Kinshasa, the Capital of Congo: An electoral circumscription where Nyarungabo's political party, the RCD (Congolese Gathering for Democracy), did not have a single provincial parliamentarian (assemblyman) among the provincial parliamentarians (assemblymen) who make up the Kinshasa's “electoral college”?

  8. Also, if the Banyamulenge were being discriminated against in Congo ; how can we explain that General Bivengate was appointed “General Auditor of the Army”, the highest Military Magistrate in the Nation? No wonder why Nkundabatware is still circulating freely, and continues massacring, with impunity, Congolese in eastern Congo despite having an international arrest warrant suspended on his head ? No, wonder?

  9. To sum up, Ruberua's political party, RCD, occupies a comfortable place in Congolese political space. It has 15 National Representatives (Deputies), 8 Senators, 2 Governors of Province (i.e. Governor KAPUKU NGOY of Kasaï-Occidental, and Governor Déo NKUSU of Bas-Congo), and 44 provincials Representatives (Deputies) in all Congo 's Provinces.

III. The Notion of Intercommunity Dialogue in the “Grand-Kivu”

  1. Congolese people always believe in dialogue in order to, honestly and peacefully, settle their disputes. Several peace treaties that Congolese people signed since Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi 's senseless invasion and occupation of Congo on August 2, 1998 testify to this.

  2. However, it should be pointed out that most Tutsi extremists do not believe in Round Table, negotiations, accords, and/or treaties. To most of them, to negotiate means: To lie, to distract, to buy time, and to militarily organize themselves, in order to surprise their so-called enemies at the first opportunity.

  3. This is the reason why, despite:
  1. The application of the “Accord Global et Inclusif”;
  2. The signing of peace treaties between the DRCongo and Rwanda in Pretoria, in South Africa, on July 30, 2002, and between the DRCongo and Uganda in Luanda, in Angola, on September 06, 2002;
  3. The conclusion under the supervision of the United States of a tripartite treaty between Rwanda , Uganda , and the DRCongo in August 2002;
  4. The establishment of joint mechanisms of verification, signed by DRCongo and Rwanda on September 2004 in New York ;
  5. The signing of a peace treaty between 11 (eleven) Presidents of Sub-Saharan Africa on November 20, 2004 in Dar es -Salaam, in Tanzania ;
  6. The successful organization of free, fair, and democratic election in DRCongo in 2006; lying the foundation of the establishment of democratic institutions with a clear-cut separation of power between the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary at the Central government, Provincial and local levels;

Uganda and, singularly, Rwanda still continue to destabilize Congo by, overtly and/or covertly creating and supporting rebel groups in eastern Congo . The case of Nk undabatware is very illustrative in this matter.

  1. What does this mean? This means: There will never be a lasting peace in the Congo in general, and in eastern Congo , in particular; so long as the DRCongo will not have a strong and well-organized, well-trained, well-equipped, and well-motivated National Army .

  2. This is because, the only language that the terrorists and war criminals operating in eastern Congo understand is the language of force: “ Who kills by the sword, perishes by the sword ” . This is the only language that these terrorists and war criminals understand.

IV. The Return of Tutsi refugees

  1. Congolese Tutsi, as well as Hutu , refugees be it in Rwanda , Burundi , Uganda , Tanzania , and elsewhere have the right to return to their home country, The DRCongo: Their ancestral land.

  2. However, we must always keep in mind that: M urders, summary executions, Nkundabatware's forced recruitment and usage of child soldiers , pillaging, widespread Barbaric and savage rapes of innocent girls and women of all ages, still going on in The Grand-Kivu.

  3. Given this reality, it will be irresponsible for Congo 's government to undertake the massive return of Tutsi and Hutu refugees ; before finishing taking care of Nkundabatware and other war criminals operating in eastern Congo . That is, eastern Congo needs to be pacified first, and foremost.

  4. In addition, we must also keep in mind that the DRCongo has always been victim of its legendary hospitality, and its abundant natural resources . That is, if Congo did not listen to the international community and in turn refused to accept in its territory Hutu refugees; eastern Congo would not be in the mud that it is in today. More importantly, Rwanda will never have its alibi of pursuing Hutu genociders, to justify its criminal activities in eastern Congo .

  5. Hence, in addition of pacifying eastern Congo; Congo's government must: Primo, be sure that Tutsi and Hutu who are willing to return to Congo are effectively Congolese; and secundo, must be sure on what settlement strategies and/or policies to adopt, in order to not let its eastern neighbors dump their excess population in Congo's territory.

  6. Eastern Congo is not, and will never be, a “dumping ground” for Uganda , Rwanda , Burundi , and who else might have, excess population. Eastern Congo will never be a colony of exploitation and settlement of Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi . Make no mistake about it.

V. Congo's Government Expectation from the Bush Administration and The International Community

  1. Congo 's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain , France , Belgium , and the International Community remind Congo 's eastern neighbors that: T he solution to Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi 's security concerns lies in:
  1. The organization of the Inter-Ugandan, Inter-Rwandan, and Inter-Burundian dialogues;
  2. The adoption and implementation of the constitutional democracy within Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi ;
  3. The accountability of those responsible for the shooting down of former President Habyarima's plane, which triggered the 1994 genocide;
  4. The adoption and implementation of technological innovations in agriculture, manufacturing and services in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the fulfillment of its requirements in terms of education, health and capital;
  5. The effective adoption and implementation of family planning programs in Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi ;
  6. The payment by Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi of reparations to compensate for the damages caused by their senseless invasion and occupation of Congo .
  1. Congo's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain, France, Belgium, and the International Community be effectively involved in helping Congolese authorities to disarm and demobilize diverse rebel groups operating inside its territory.

  2. Congo 's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain , France , Belgium , and the International Community reexamine their policies towards Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda, for the following reasons:
    1. Museveni is the one who sponsored Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front invasion of Rwanda in 1994 to install Paul Kagame to power. In the process, it caused the genocide of over 500,000 innocent Tutsis and Hutu moderates.

    2. Museveni is the one who conspired with Kagame and the multinational corporations involved in the illegal exploitation of Congo 's natural resources, to install Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila to power in Congo on May 17, 1997 . In the process, it caused the genocide of over 230,000 Hutu refugees in the jungle of Equateur and around Kisangani in Province Orientale.

    3. Museveni is the one who manufactured the Congolese rebel leader J.P. Bemba and his Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and supported Wamba dia Wamba. In the process, it caused three bloody battles between Rwandan and Ugandan troops in Kisangani . The bloody battles which caused the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians Congolese; the systematic pillage of Congo's natural resources; the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases; the massive destruction of Congo's ecosystem, as well as the destruction of Congolese's properties.

    4. Museveni is the one who, without laughing, curved out an independent province in the sub-region of Ituri, in Congo's Province Orientale; appointed Ms. Adele Lotsove as its governor, and as such, activating and exacerbating hatreds between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups, causing the massacre of thousands innocent civilians.

    5. And above all, Museveni is the one who manufactured several rebel groups of his obedience (i.e. The Congolese Liberation Movement, or MLC, of Jean Pierre Bemba; The Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation Movement, or RCD-ML, of Mbusa Nyamwisi; The Congolese Rally for Democracy-National, or RCD-N, of Roger Lumbala; and The Union of Congolese Patriots, or UPC , of Thomas Lubanga) in order to destabilize Congo. The list can go on and on.

 

  1. Congo 's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain , France , Belgium , and the International Community help Congo to effectively abolish the use of child-soldiers in its territory; and help it effectively proceed to the clearance of the anti-personnel landmines.

  2. Congo 's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain , France , Belgium , and the International Community directly assist women who were savagely raped, tortured, and deliberately infected with HIV/Aids to cope with the trauma and stigma related to their sad state.

  3. Congo's Government would like to see the Bush Administration, Britain, France, Belgium, and the International Community forgive all debts contracted under Mobutu's regime ; and by doing so, assist it to effectively fulfill the 5 priorities of Congo's government notably: The creation of Job opportunities, the establishment of new Infrastructures, the distribution of Clean Water and electricity, and the promotion of Education and Health facilities

Los Angeles , October 24, 2007

Sloj, S. Litofe, Ph.D
Political Economy & Public Policy,
Specialist in Comparative and Developmental Economy
Fulbright and World Bank scholar
sloj4214@sbcglobal.net  

© Congo Vision


 
 
Copyright © 2005 Congo Vision. Tous droits réservés.