Our position about UNHCR claims on the DRC Participation to the Global Refugee Forum Summit
After a meeting with the Mayor of Goma UNHCR claimed that the Democratic Republic of Congo will not be excluded to participate in the Global Refugee Forum Summit but we have observed nothing on the ground. It is also more evident that authorities here do not listen unless people demonstrate, therefore we have given UNHCR only one week for concrete actions and if that is not done, we shall meet on the streets of Goma.The original French Letter is here attached ” NOTRE POSITION
Copy for information to:
– His Excellency the National Minister
– head of the Interior in Kinshasa,
– His Excellency the General-Major Governor of
North Kivu to Goma,
– The Provincial Director of the ANR North Kivu,
– The Provincial Commissioner of the PNC North Kivu,
– The Head of Antenna of the CNR Goma, North Kivu,
– The Head of UNHCR Sub-Delegation of Goma,
Subject: Our position on the divergent reaction of the Head of UNHCR Sub-Delegation
Goma this November 7, 2023
– To the Acting Mayor of the City of Goma North Kivu
Dear Mayor of the city,
We have the honor to come to your responsibility to draw your attention to the evil already orchestrated by UNHCR against the Democratic Republic of Congo and to ask for your support to foil this international plot against our country,
Allow us to thank you first of all for the efforts that you have already made since we contacted you in relation to the approach aimed at excluding the DRC from the World Refugee Forum Summit scheduled for December 2023 in Geneva and this for the benefit of the countries which take advantage of the presence of refugees in the DRC to impose war on us. We remain convinced that this exclusion of the DRC is deliberate and would aim to avoid an internal or external debate on the responsibility of the International Community in relation to refugees in the DRC and Congolese refugees in several countries around the world.
Indeed, it is with great disappointment that we followed on the airwaves of RTN Goma, the reaction of the Head of the UNHCR Sub-Delegation of Goma in which he said that the DRC would not be excluded from the next World Forum on Refugees planned for next December in Geneva and that he would be working there with the National Minister in charge of the Interior of the DRC. The simple question we ask ourselves is: (with which community would the UNHC be working?, with which Refugee leaders? With which Civil Society? Is there any other part of the DRC that has a lot of Refugees? more than the East (NORTH KIVU, SOUTH KIVU and ITURI) for the Head of the UNHCR Sub-Delegation of Goma to speak that the work would be organized? The Head of the UNHCR Sub-Delegation of Goma should scrupulously analyze this hypothesis “Everything that is done for me without me, is done on the one hand against me”
We humbly remind you that this Forum should bring together the Congolese Government, refugee-hosting communities, Civil Society actors, refugees, the private sector, scientists and many other actors, who discuss the situation refugees at all levels and not only the Minister of the Interior as claimed by UNHCR Goma. The latter is mandated to popularize all possible initiatives related to this summit, which has never been done in the DRC, even you also the Mayor of the City who is supposed to be in Geneva because you have refugees in this city of Goma, you seem not to even be informed. To do this, we urgently grant a period of one week to UNHCR Goma for consultations of all these aforementioned layers to begin, failing which, the NDSCI with all its local member organizations working in “the theme on refugees” reserves the right to move now to large-scale actions and UNHCR will draw the consequences and take responsibility for any eventuality.
For the sake of memory, in 1994 the DRC welcomed Rwandan refugees on its soil, and from that time until now Rwanda is waging war on us in the name of neutralizing these refugees whom Rwanda considers to be FDLR and this under absolute silence from UNHCR and the CNR which should enlighten public opinion, the Rwandan government and the International Community that Rwandan refugees in the DRC are not to be confused with armed groups.
In 1996 until now a group of Rwandan refugees residing in MINEMBWE in the highlands of South Kivu have taken up arms against this country under the pretext that they are seeking Congolese nationality, this approach has benefited from the silence of UNHCR and the CNR until now while the African Union Convention on Refugees of 1969 prohibits any refugee from taking up arms either against their country of origin or against the host country.
In 2019 the M23 began recruiting Congolese refugees in camps in Uganda and Rwanda which are managed by UNHCR with these governments but UNHCR remained silent, and curiously some of these refugees who took up arms against the DRC still keep their status in Rwanda, and in Uganda under absolute silence from UNHCR and the CNR.
We also bring to your attention that according to the testimonies of certain Rwandan refugees in Goma, a large part of the M23 fighters are refugees who resided in Masisi from whom UNHCR and the CNR deliberately repatriated to Rwanda by force while there were real risks regarding the possible recruitment of these refugees into the M23. And UNHCR, which is present even in Rwanda, does not seem capable of telling us clearly about the fate of refugees repatriated by force to Rwanda and yet it is an international obligation granted to UNHCR to monitor the situation of refugees who have been repatriated to their countries of origin.
While we still bear the scars of bad memories of the situation that we have experienced since 1994 until now since we have simply welcomed the refugees into our territory under the total indifference of the International Community. We are still scandalized by the remarks of the UNHCR representative made during the meeting with you on November 7 at your Office indicating that the Democratic Republic of Congo is not excluded from the World Refugee Forum Summit scheduled for December 2023 and unverified allegations about the involvement of the Minister of the Interior while the National Commission for Refugees, which is the technical body of the Minister, is not involved.
We inform you that the Global Refugee Forum Summit brings together representatives of Governments, representatives of host communities, representatives of refugees, Civil Society actors specializing in this area, the private sector and humanitarian organizations. UNHCR is sensible to facilitate consultations at the local, provincial, national and regional level to harmonize the views of stakeholders on the refugee situation but this is not yet done for the DRC, UNHCR is sensible to invite and accredit the participants but this is not yet done for the DRC,
Surprisingly, Mr. Mayor of the city, on the UNHCR website, all the countries hosting the Refugees are discussing this Forum but until now the DRC is absent from this website. Beyond all this, UNHCR in association with the CNR continue to give us false statistics on refugees in the DRC, indicating that the DRC has around 526,000 refugees while we estimate refugees at 4 million. Here in Goma we find Rwandan refugees who reside a few meters from the border of their country such as in the Bujovu and Mapendo neighborhoods under absolute silence from UNHCR/CNR, refugees who use the Voter Card under silence from UNHCR/CNR. The management of refugees in the DRC is chaotic and this Summit would be one of the best opportunities to take responsibility from each stakeholder.
We humbly ask you, dear Mayor of the city of Goma, to take more urgent measures to ensure the effective participation of the DRC in this Summit.
Our civic and patriotic feelings!
Done in Goma on November 13, 2023
BAHIGANA MIRHONYI Germain KULIHOSHI MUSIKAMI Pecos
Provincial President Facilitator of current affairs manager
Tel: +243975587918 Tel: +243853191163
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