Rwanda: Leaders Urged to Act As Persecution of Tutsi in DR Congo Intensifies

The lives of Tutsi in DR Congo are in great danger as they continually become targets by machete-wielding mobs threatening to kill them.

Cell phone footage from the streets of cities in eastern DRC circulating on social media show attacks on individuals perceived to be Rwandans.

The individuals are targeted based on appearances, sparking memories of the buildup to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

A man who was targeted based on his ‘resemblance to Rwandans’ only survived after showing his identification.

“I just avoided death this morning in Kinshasa. Some Congolese confused me with Rwandese and want [ed] to kill me. Fortunately, I showed them my Senegalese passport and they stopped screaming at me ‘ Rwandaise, Rwandaise. For those who look like Rwandese, stay home please,” he warned his colleagues.

This is one of the many experiences of violence against Rwandans and Congolese Tutsi in eastern DR Congo.

The incident happened as regional leaders met in Nairobi, Kenya for the third EAC Heads of State Conclave, trying to find a way towards lasting peace.

The victimised Congolese and Rwandan communities worry that the stigmatisation and torment of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese and calls for them to “return” to Rwanda is only increasing.

Jean-Baptiste Gasominari, 48, a Tutsi from North Kivu Province who lives in Rwanda, told The New Times that his community deserves to be treated and protected just like any other Congolese.