We reject the so called USA Humanitarian truce in North Kivu between DRCongo and Rwanda

Declaration towards the so called two weeks Humanitarian Truce between DRC and Rwanda and on other issues affecting North Kivu in line with this war of aggression, after a consultative meeting with other organizations members of the of the New Dynamic of the Civil Society North Kivu, the Collective of Youth Organizations for Solidarity in DRCongo, COJESKI North Kivu takes this position

These are some of IDPs children malnourished who benefit from the relief aid in Bulengo Camp around Goma, this was during our porridge distribution

On July 4th, 2024 a statement by NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson from the United States of America White House, welcomed the so called two weeks humanitarian truce signed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda during negotiations facilitated by the United States of America. The purpose of this truce is to help people to return to their homes and facilitate humanitarian relief organizations to access people and offer them the necessary support.

For our audience, we would like to share with you the following events that led to this truce which are helping IDPs.

At first the European Union announced in June 2024 the humanitarian aid relief of 99Million Euros to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two weeks after the M23 rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda advanced and captured Kanyabayonga Rural District and other surrounding villages, this pushed many people away far from their homes where they are in IDP Camps. A week after the capture of Kanyabayonga by the rebels, a humanitarian truce was announced by the United States of America and welcomed by the Democratic Republic of Congo Government, at the same time the Congolese Government has failed to provide a clear explanation how the rebels captured Kanyabayonga which was supposed to be highly secured, and instead of launching military operations the Government signed a humanitarian truce and busy calling for a Diplomatic approach,  and on the same note DRC Government has not been able to explain what will happen after the two weeks and what will be the fate of people after two weeks, and which people exactly will benefit from this so called humanitarian truce.

We strongly believe that the fall of Kanyabayonga was deliberate by the DRC Government in order to access to the 99million Euros and the so called two weeks humanitarian truce aims at justifying the spending of the 99millions Euros from the European Union.

In the argument to allow the return of people, more than 7Million people are displaced in DRCongo, in North Kivu alone more than 4millions have been displaced by the current war among then less than 5% is in Kanyabayonga, these people run away because they did not want to cohabit with the rebels and those who have managed to come back to their homes did it because they were mobilized to do so as sign to show that the rebels are good people. Up to now all those who flee their homes are in IDP Camps and do not want to go back, then the question remains, who did the humanitarian truce focus on who wants to go back and why the humanitarian truce is important for that person? Most of IDPs who ran away are very far from the front line in most cases areas controlled by the Government, so are these people who will be allowed to go back in areas controlled by the rebels? But again we do not have clear data that DRC Government had blocked IDPs who wanted to go back in areas controlled by the rebels, we also do not have information that the rebels blocked people to return, on contrary the rebels have regularly sent spies in IDPs Camps to mobilize them to go back, this is important for them in order to gain popularity.

On the point to allow humanitarian organizations to access IDPs, this may not be also accurate, because in Beni and Kanyabayongo all relief agencies left and are now based in Goma, people are living on their own, and it is impossible for relief organizations to go back in two weeks and start operations. In other parts of the province humanitarian relief agencies have access to IDPs without problems, some even are operating in areas that are controlled by rebels and have not been restricted by the Government and by the rebels. As we indicated this may only serve as a justification on how the money was used.

This comes as in North Kivu is confronted by serious questions about the role of the humanitarian relief aid and their relevance. Generally thousands of IDPs have existed and have not yet benefited from relief aid for the last three years, relief organizations have themselves claimed that they are not able to help all people, similarly those who benefit from the relief aid continue to sink into destitution clearly manifested by increasing cases of malnutrition especially among women and children in various IDP Camps where they take months without getting aid and when it comes it is not enough for their needs. The alarming cases malnutrition and children affected by kwashiorkor which are observed in camps raise concerns about the necessity to have these agencies, what remains for those affected by malnutrition is only death, and one thing clear is that IDPs are dying one by one due to poor feeding mostly. When you move in IDPs camps around Goma and find people sleeping in a Mosquito-Nets, children on streets begging for food, and people picking things from durst-bean in order to get what to eat, then there are questions to ask about all these Humanitarian Agencies, despite the heavy presence of humanitarian relief agencies, no single IDP camp can be pointed as model where we claim people are living better, but in all camps the health situation of people is deteriorating. On this the debate that may arise is likely to be either to die today because relief agencies are absent or to die tomorrow because the relief agencies are present.

North Kivu being a fertile land may not accurate to argue about the necessity of relief aid because people can grow their crops in less than three (3) months, and in this way efforts should have been oriented towards development activities which should make people more self-reliant. DRC being so vast with a huge empty land everywhere there is no need to keep people in IDP Camps as they should have been transferred to other places where they can settle and start a new life. Yet those who put in place these camps do not tell us how long will they give people relief aid, it is now more than three years that people are in camps, how many years more do they want in order to be satisfied. As this continue to puzzle our minds and IDPs sinking into destitution, we observe humanitarian agents living in abundance with a lot to waste, and protecting these gains by threats and intimidations against human rights defenders who criticize this social injustice and who promote transparency in the relief aid in North Kivu.

As we speak right now, no single donor has even thought of investing and supporting the struggle of local organizations and local human rights defenders that are advocating for accountability and transparency of the available relief aid. We therefore hold the position that there is no need to have international relief agencies in North Kivu, as in terms of aid relief and where necessary we already have local organizations and skilled human resource that can do very well the same work, even better than international agencies.

Reiterating our conviction that the current humanitarian crisis in North Kivu is an insult to our conscience, we are concerned by the absence of DRC Government that deserted people, and which instead of doing what it necessary to end the war, the government opted for the strategy of withdrawing from the front line, and putting a priority on so called Diplomacy with no clear objectives. We strongly object the only diplomatic approach of the Government and call for the launch of military operations against the rebels which will help the country to claim back the security of each person and the control of the entire territory. Those in Government who are calling IDPs for patience are not facing suffering in IDP Camps, and at the same time they are calling for us to wait, they are busy enjoying life, yet it has been three years that people in IDPs camps are waiting for the Government to secure them and liberate their villages from the rebels.

We therefore distance from this government position and call upon the DRC Government either to fight and take over all parts which are controlled by the rebels or just clearly tell people that it has failed, and in such situation people will put in place leaders that can defend them, one thing certain is that the Government has obligation to assure the security of people and in case that it is not done such government may be considered as failed and be held accountable by the citizens.

While the attention should have been put on the security services, soldiers deployed on front line do not appear like they have been put in better conditions in order to fight, however we observe that worsening their living conditions may demoralize them and may push many to surrender to the enemy and therefore profit the rebels, in this way we strongly condemn the sentence against 25 soldiers who are accused by the Military Courts in Butembo, we also condemn the barbaric behavior of the soldiers who looted properties from the people and caused panic among IDPs but we may not believe that 25 soldiers could have blocked the progress of the rebels as it was presented to us by the Military Court. Attention should have been oriented towards commanders who were deployed in Kanyabayonga who should account to people.

Basing on the above, we strongly object the so called two weeks humanitarian truce and call upon the White House of the United States of America which seem to have strong influence on both DRC and Rwanda to impose them to restore peace immediately in North Kivu,

Guided by our conscience we strongly position against the policy of relief aid in North Kivu and call upon all actors to prioritize development and self-reliance projects,

We therefore observe that it is urgent and necessary to put pressure on Congolese Government to do all that it may take to restore peace and security in all parts in North Kivu through serious military operations and if not to mobilize people to distance from the current government.


The Provincial Coordination of North Kivu   




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