Kulihoshi M Pecos speech on the launch of the second commemoration of the Genocide against Hutu refugees in DRC
It is was great opportunity and a privilege for me and the entire COJESKI Coordination of North Kivu to be among the invited guests to this great event, we also thank so much Rwanda Bridge Builders who invited us and for the cordial working relationship we are intending to put together.
Speech on the Commemoration of the Genocide against Hutus in both Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 1st, 2023 by Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos, the Programe Officer at COJESKI, North Kivu.
To some amongst us this initiative may appear new, but this is an opportunity to struggle against forgetting in order to face the ugly reality of our history, maybe we have been subjected to the supreme law of silence in our lives and may we surrendered to that law of silence, to others this may appear political and therefore dangerous yes but good enough we are all citizens for our both respective countries and we cannot stay away from these political debates which we have to engage in and let me argue that it more dangerous to alienate ourselves from the affairs of our countries and relegate them to others, we have the responsibilities and we should face them with hope and courage,
As a Congolese I may not be much familiar with what happened in Rwandan against Hutus but I can strongly argue about the brutality and massacre against Hutu Refugees in DRC since 1994 up to now and yet all these massacres are not fully documented and recognized. I congratulate you for all these efforts you have deployed to remind us about these events that characterize our lives in DRC and bend my head before all those who were forced to leave this earth and who are waiting for justice in order to rest in peace.
As Congolese I always feel guilty that as a nation we could not protect you when you came to us seeking for asylum and protection in 1994, the other ugly reality is that Congolese were also massacred alongside Hutu refugees, above all the arguments we may front forward let us recognize that we ought you protection and security in the same we ought security and protection to all Congolese, please forgive us and let us work together to do what we failed to do before. We have been informed about some villages where Congolese were killed and massacred just because Tutsi fighters thought there were Hutus mixed or being protected by the Congolese people.
As we commemorate this day, let us reflect on the principles of equality of all those who were massacred and treat all the victims equally but also reflect on Justice for all. We need to work hard on three different priorities:
To know and establish where each person was killed from which will appear a long process of memorial, like here in Goma some places where people were put in one place killed and buried there are known but some among these places were already occupied by people and houses have been constructed there which makes it a risk to lose this history, many families have never been granted opportunities and space to organize a decent burial of their dear ones and mourn at least, this is still a big challenge.
At the same time we must work hard in order to save the lives of those who survived and who are refugees here in DRC as per now, we must ensure that they are not massacred anymore, work for the them to live in dignity and in peace and to make sure that they are all safe. As organization we first of all focused on the physical protection of Rwandan refugees here in North Kivu and we happy to observe that three years back there are some progress, we worked with the security services and at least Rwandan refugees recovered their physical protection, more is still need on the other social protection,
This commemoration reminds that we also have to work in order to advocate for a better environment both in Rwanda and in DRC where the survivors may be sure of their future and restore their lives. This means that we have to be fully involved in all social and political affairs of our different countries. The danger we still have in DRC is the current presence of M23 Terrorists Group, however we are with the same position of the DRC Government that no negotiations should be promoted and we are doing our part to participate in all efforts which is geared to end M23.
We remain puzzled that in some places where we have visited there is not site for the massacre against Hutus Refugees in DRC yet for Congolese these sites are almost everywhere. We are happy that DRC Government proclaimed August 2nd as the National Day of the Genocide against Congolese, we remain very concerned about that way of doing things, Hutus also were massacred in DRC and we should have a national which is more inclusive. We continue the advocacy in order to bring this out, we shall be happy when we shall put in the word “Genocide in DRC”.
We remain available and much engaged towards our work for the effective protection of Hutus in DRC, and we really work to work with you on these issues, please count on us and let us make this a reality.