Despite President Tshisekedi’s decision to suspend the installation of Minembwe municipality, this issue continues to provoke strong reactions in Congolese society. Report at Panzi hospital in Bukavu.
With our special correspondent in Bukavu, Sonia Rolley
This municipality located in the highlands of the southern Kivu was established by a decree in 2013. This is where Banyamulenge (Rwandophone Congolese) lives mostly, accused by others of not being Congolese, of seeking to take land in other territories or even to Balkanize the country.
Political circles in Kinshasa continue to ignite over the question of whether Minembwe municipality or not, and hate speech is on the rise. Although, paradoxically, violence has fallen in the highlands since the start of this controversy in late September (during the installation of the mayor, suspended since then), Dr. Denis Mukwege is concerned about the content of the speeches on this issue.
► Also read: DRC: besieged Minembwe, the causes of the violence in the highlands
At the Nobel Peace Prize, politicians in Kinshasa across communities are trying to add fuel to the fire. And it is the locals who pay the price.
And if Dr. Mukwege visited the building that received victims of sexual violence that morning, it was to illustrate what he said.
Uvira, Fizi, Mwenga, it is in these territories that the highlands of South Kivu lie and all communities have victims.
“The politicians in Kinshasa, if they could instead deal with these issues instead of spending their time spreading hate speech that provokes further violence. In the beginning, we had no victims coming from the Minembwe Highlands. Today we have some. “
The victims all have the same stories. “I had problems with rape,” said this young girl. I do not know them, they were soldiers, they were in uniform. It was July 30th. In eastern Congo, both military and armed groups often wear the same uniform, making it difficult to identify perpetrators of sexual violence.
The people, including all communities, strive to return to their homes. What the Congolese authorities and the UN mission in Congo are discussing right now, as explained by Karna Soro, head of the MONUSCO office in Bukavu.
On the spot, the situation did not degenerate as much as it did, and that on the contrary, the people strive to take advantage of the rainy season to return home and be able to take care of themselves. The situation is extremely critical from a humanitarian point of view, and all the people of the area, whether in Minembwe or Bijombo, are talking to you first and foremost about wanting to return home. Over the last two months, the level of violence has dropped.
Note that the humanitarian situation is particularly worrying in Bijombo, a landlocked locality in the highlands that is only accessible on foot or by helicopter. 7000 displaced people sought refuge around a MONUSCO base, they lack everything. The Congolese army and peacekeepers had to organize companions so they could go to their fields and avoid starvation.