The community of Congolese Banyamulenge refugees, numbering in the thousands, has complained of having been the victim of a real hunt for ten days. The Interior Ministry and public security have launched a real campaign against those living in cities when they have to be in one of the five refugee camps in the country. The leaders of this community of Rwandophonic Congolese refugees fleeing the province of South Kivu explain that they are accused of being in the service of Rwanda in violation of neighbor to the south, which they have always denied. It all started on October 8th.
On that day, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye presented to the press some sixty Congolese Banyamulenge refugees, arrested in the capital Gitega, when they should be, he explains in one of the refugee camps. Which makes them “suspects” he said before appealing to “patrundism” from the cage rounds.
“These foreigners, which we see more and more in cities or elsewhere, are easy to spot. Many people speak Kinyarwanda like these. If you hear anyone speak Kinyarwanda or any other language other than Kirundi, notify the administration and security services so they ask him what he is doing there. “
Since this speech, more than 150 Congolese refugees from Rwandophone have been arrested in succession at several locations in the country, detained for one or two days before being returned to the camps for some. But about thirty were still detained in Bujumbura yesterday at noon, according to confirming sources. A member of this community, who says he fears for his safety, anonymously condemned “a real hunt”.
Yesterday, it appears that the Interior Ministry has returned on the back of shouts over these comments. He announced in a tweet that his “spokesman has never called for chasing people who speak kinyarwanda”.