Attempt to kidnap Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos in Goma: We suspect UNHCR and CNR to be behind this

Alert on the presence of unidentified people at the COJOSKI North Kivu Office to kidnap the Provincial Coordinator Mr. Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos





Kulihoshi M Pecos during a briefing meeting at the office in Goma Mr. Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos, the Provincial Coordinator of COJESKI North Kivu narrowly escaped a kidnapping attempt by unidentified people who forced their way into his office.

Around 12 p.m. this Thursday, February 15, 2024, two unidentified people entered the COJOSKI North Kivu Office. One arrived at the reception and the other remained outside, this one who arrived at the reception introduced himself as having come to look for two women who would be from Sake and who would be lost here in Goma and then he came to see if these women had arrived at COJESKI North Kivu because COJESKI North is known as working on refugee and IDPs issues.

He was asked to write his name in the visitors’ book, but he refused, and afterward the other also entered and began to greet the visitor who was at the reception which he thought was Pecos, saying “hello Mr. Pecos, we’re coming to pick you up right away”, and then they pushed the visitor outside and showed him a piece of paper saying “Warrant to Bring Prosecutor’s Office of Goma”, the visitor explained that it was not him Pecos, they brutalized him until he presented them with his identity documents, that is how they left this visitors. They went to the receptionist again and demanded that she should show them Pecos Office, but she explained to them that Pecos is not in the Office.

They wanted to force the door to enter but the receptionist stopped them so there was a fight which pushed other agents who were at the offices to come and see what was happening at the reception. The comrades asked these people to leave this paper but they refused, after exchanges of words and threats, they left promising to return until they found Pecos.

All day long we suspected their presence around the Office, this happened when Pecos was participating in a meeting organized by the Goma Communal Youth Council on the situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Goma and its surroundings.

We are very concerned about the way these unidentified people came and their way of acting which shows the intention of wanting to kidnap our colleague Pecos. We point out that Pecos has never had any Invitation from the Prosecutor’s Office and these people refused to leave this paper that they had. We believe that the Prosecutor cannot act in that way, which is illegal.

We bring to your attention that Pecos and his colleagues from the Civil Society have been working on several refugee issues since last year, which sometimes annoy certain authorities in charge of refugees in North Kivu. The year 2023 Pecos from COJESKI and Germain from NDSCI North Kivu led a campaign to request the participation of all stakeholders at the Global Forum on Refugees Summit in Geneva, this pushed the UNHCR and the CNR to deal with Jean Pascal Mugaruka who also worked at COJESKI North Kivu to help the UNHCR and the CNR to destroy the efforts made to advocate for the participation of all actors. Thus Jean Pascal Mugaruka deployed means to accuse Pecos and Germain to the Mayor of Goma, to the Police and to the various security services in Goma, Jean Pascal also led blackmailing campaigns among refugees to tell them to distance themselves of our struggle and to carry out actions against Pecos which included attacks against Pecos at the COJESKI Office in November 2023 where refugees came to attack him. And then Jean Pascal Mugaruka finally opted to steal the money intended for COJESKI North Kivu projects in order to push these refugees to attack Pecos and continue to destabilize our advocacy for the promotion of rights of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.

Currently Pecos is working on the reform of the law which manages refugees in the DRC as well as the reform of the institutions which take care of these refugees in the DRC mainly UNHCR and CNR which Pecos views as implementing a policy which is close to Rwanda Foreign Policy on Rwandan refugees, and the presence of UNHCR/CNR staffs who are perceived as being close to Rwanda or being Rwandans, we believe that this would be the immediate cause which would justify these threats and attempted kidnapping,

Since 2021 Pecos has always been targeted by UNHCR and CNR who do not support his approach to promoting the rights of refugees, he has already been arbitrarily arrested several times and illegally detained by the security services with the same aim of discouraging him in his fight for the rights of refugees .

In December 2023 Pecos and Germain were stripped of everything they had by people in Army and Police uniforms right next to La Sapientia University in Goma, yet other people who passed by were not targeted,

We then take this opportunity to grasp the seriousness of this problem and ask for your intervention so that Pecos and all those who fight for the promotion of the rights of refugees can carry out their work in complete safety, but also in the safety of the COJESKI North Kivu office and all staff members who are traumatized now by this situation,

We appeal to the justice system to get involved in identifying and punishing the perpetrators of these threats as well as the sponsors of this kidnapping attempt,

We condemn this way of operating which seems more like kidnapping and which puts at risk the lives of Pecos in Goma while this city is faced with serious security problems,

We advance suspicions that Jean Pascal Mugaruka would remain the alleged author of all these threats against Pecos and would work on behalf of UNHCR and CNR in exchange for money, with the aim of putting an end to Pecos’ struggle for the promotion of refugee rights,

Done in Goma, this 02/15/2024

The Secretariat / COJESKI North Kivu


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