Humiliation, insult to the memory of the dead… Social and political actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo are outraged by the comments of the Rwandan head of state, Paul Kagame, denying the massacres in the east of the DRC.
Paul Kagame’s media appearance on 17 May is at the heart of a wave of indignation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In an interview with RFI and France 24, the Rwandan leader mentioned, with a dose of negationism, the massacres in the east of the DRC and the Mapping Report, a document that lists the most serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed between March 1993 and June 2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the social and political actors, the Rwandan head of state’s media appearance is an insult to the memory of the victims of the massacres in the DRC.
« We will not accept negationist statements
According to Martin Fayulu, leader of the opposition coalition Lamuka, « the Congolese are being taunted because of the absence of a legitimate, responsible, strong and characterful leadership at the head of the country. We will not accept the denial of the crimes in the DRC by anyone, » he said.
For his part, Jean-Claude Katende, president of the African Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADHO), « If a Congolese authority makes the statement that the Rwandan genocide is not real, I wonder what the reaction of Kigali will be. How can Paul Kagame question the Mapping report and our authorities remain silent? « He wondered on twitter.
« What a humiliation for our nation! «
The citizens’ movements are not left out. La lutte pour le changement (LUCHA), « For Kagame no crime was committed in the DRC. What negationism! Without truth and justice, sincere relations are impossible. We expect an official protest from the DRC.
For its part, Filimbi believes that « the words of President Paul Kagame are an insult to the memory of our dead, an insult to the entire Congolese people. Our authorities can in no way remain silent.
It should be noted that in August 2020, Vincent Karega, the Rwandan ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, made denialist remarks about the massacres in the East and the Mapping report. At the time, these comments aroused the anger and indignation of citizens’ movements.