Willy Manzi a Refugee resettled in Canada from Uganda joins M23 to commit crimes against innocent people in eastern DRCongo

UNHCR in Uganda protecting criminals instead of the victims, those fighting in eastern DRC are easily supported by UNHCR, the resettlement of Manzi Ngarambe to Canada is another shocking News but not a surprise, while UNHCR in DRC is giving Relief Aid to those who have been displaced by the war.

Ngarambe Manzi Willy during his recent visit in Masisi, North Kivu/ DRCongo

Note: We may not claim that information shared here is all accurate but we believe it may help in investigations for those who would like to venture in this.


This week mainly on Monday June 10th, 2024 a Communique signed by Bertrand Bisimwa the President of M23 appointed Manzi Ngarambe Willy the Coordinator of M23 outside in the Diaspora, both refugees in Uganda and Congolese people were shocked when the M23/RDF announced the appointment of Willy Manzi as the Coordinator of the Congolese Diaspora on behalf of M23/RDF.

M23/RDF fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo have forced more than 7million people to flee their homes and villages in order to live a vulnerable life in IPD Camps in North Kivu, while more than 2 million also fled to Uganda were they are living in refugee camps. M23/RDF has also committed various human rights violations including massacres which are believed to be a genocide against innocent people, and now the looting of natural resources, among other crimes which we may not list here. M23/RDF operates easily in Uganda and in Rwanda where most of their fighters are based and enjoy the support of the respective two governments, while some are registered as refugees and live in refugee camps others are not.

Who is Ngarambe Manzi Willy

He is believed to be a Congolese from North Kivu, he is a Tutsi in North Kivu/DRC, and his direct family members are in Goma, Rwanda, and in Uganda, according to those who know him better. He served in RCD Goma, then he joined CNDP and later on moved to Uganda where he claimed a refugee status on ground that he was among the Tutsi who are hunted by President Paul Kagame. He was among those Tutsi who claimed they were in conflict with Rwanda President Paul Kagame, and on this ground he argued UNHCR to offer him resettlement to Canada because he believed he was targeted by Rwanda security services in Uganda. Unfortunately it may appear that not much information was shared about his life in RCD Goma and in CNDP.

It is believed that Willy Manzi was mobilized by Nsana Kanyonyi who is one among the Special Advisor of President of DRC Felix Tshisekedi in order to join M23, Kanyonyi who is also a Tutsi and a Businessman dealing in minerals and who is currently mobilizing all Tutsi in Diaspora who were in conflict with Rwanda to come and join M23. Some pictures on social media seem to show Willy Manzi together with Kanyonyi,

Willy Manzi is well known by refugees in Kampala Uganda where he lived for some years, he claimed to be a Congolese and was registered as a Congolese refugee, this is also normal because most of Rwandans in Uganda are easily registered as Congolese refugees. In the process and in order to access to information UNHCR Kampala included Willy Manzi on the list of Community Interpreters who are paid by UNHCR and this helped him to access all the necessary information about Congolese refugees in Uganda.

Later on Willy Manzi was granted resettlement to Canada by UNHCR on ground that his life was at risk in Uganda, and now he is living in Canada. Questions remained: Uganda is a host country of M23 fighters how could he been at risk? UNHCR claims to have in place experts to carry out interviews, how did they fail to realize that Manzi was in association with criminals? Can we now confirm that UNHCR is fully backing M23 and in doing so UNHCR has taken side and lost the humanitarian ground? What is the feeling of Internally Displaced Persons right now in Camps here in Congo who will be informed that UNHCR is the one supporting those who have put them in this horrible situation? And how could Canada claim to help DRC when it is hosting those committing crimes in total indifference?

Information coming to us does indicate that Willy Manzi is currently living in Rwanda, but he is married to a Canadian woman and he has a Canadian Citizenship, could Canada take actions against her citizens who are involved in crimes against humanity. Since he was appointed by M23/RDF, he deleted all his social media accounts, however some people in the Diaspora seem to have some of his photos taken before his nomination.

Canada keeping criminals

Yet this is not the first time information has been made public about a section of people based in Canada and the USA who are supporting the war in Eastern DRC, the CIA/FBI have published reports in the past about finances from Canada and in the USA towards fighters in eastern DRCongo but in the process no actions were taken against these criminals. How could Canada and the USA money be used in order to commit such barbaric actions in DRC and no one takes actions?  What makes the matter worse is that Willy Manzi held a refugee status which is by nature granted to victims but not to perpetrators of crimes, and in the process criminals are resettled to Canada while victims languish in refugee camps.

This is similar with Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya which host fighters of M23 and their family members all being supported by UNHCR in terms of relief aid while again the victims are left aside to suffer in camps.

Threats against Congolese

Congolese refugees in Uganda have denounced this practice of facilitating Rwandans and criminals to register as Congolese but in vain, the whole refugee system is highly controlled by Uganda security services and whoever tries to challenge it is either threatened, arrested or forced to leave the country. Unfortunately UNHCR does not offer protection to Congolese in difficult situation over this problem, and no one else comes in to help. Congolese people have showed concerns to see the refugee status is granted to fighters and members of armed groups committing crimes in eastern DRC.

Resettlement to Canada of criminals

In Uganda for the last decade it has been difficult for refugee human rights defenders to be granted resettlement when they are facing threats, in 2018 Donors were involved in a series of investigations about Uganda Refugee Scandal but not much came in as most of refugee Human Rights Defenders who participated in these investigations were either forced to leave Uganda, forced to keep silence or just suffering alone in Uganda without aid.  The challenge is that Resettlement Countries have not yet put in place a process in which refugees can directly seek resettlement without passing through UNHCR, yet as we all know UNHCR in Uganda is highly political and bows before the directive of the Government. Yet is easy for those who are close to the Government of Uganda to access resettlement and other relief aid. Reforms should be put in place in Uganda especially to ensure that Refugee Human Rights Defenders are fully granted protection.


We call upon various actors of the Civil Society in the Democratic Republic of Congo to engage Canada and DRC to take actions including cancelling the resettlement of Willy Manzi,

We call upon the DRC Government especially the New Minister of Foreign Affairs engage countries which host Congolese refugees and members of the Diaspora to take serious measures which discourage them to get involved in war in eastern DRC,

We call upon Canada and the UNHCR to review the settlement criteria towards those who claim to be Congolese and invest more in research to establish the history of refugees who are considered for resettlement,

Compiled by Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

The Provincial Coordinator of COJESKI North Kivu, Human Rights Defender specialized in the Rights of Refugees in the Great Lakes Region.


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