Sud-Kivu: Local ethnic communities condemn Violence in Fizi and Uvira territories
Uvira, November 15, 20189. - Under the facilitation of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the NGO known as Alert International, ethnic communities in Uvira took part in a meeting held in the same territory on November 14. Participants unanimously denounced the persistence of violence and hate speech.
Over 40 people representing the Babembe, Bafuliiru, Banyamulenge, Banyindu, Bavira, Babwari and Barundi ethnic communities participated in the meeting held at MONUSCO /Uvira headquarters. Discussions focused on the interethnic armed conflicts in the Uvira, Fizi and Itombwe hauts plateaux and their negative impact on other entities, including the city of Uvira.
"It was a good opportunity for the local communities to express their views on the values of peace, harmony and conviviality that have long characterized the people of this region," said MONUSCO Civil Affairs Coordinator in Uvira, TANO Oi Tano.
The final communiqué of the meeting condemns "with the utmost energy all the acts of brutal violence committed the region, irrespective of who perpetrated them, and all the hate speeches distilled through the social networks as well as from national and foreign media."
She was very insistent on this issue, "we appeal to members from the different communities living in the region to resist all kinds of political manipulations by denouncing any act of violence whatever its author, to cultivate the spirit of solidarity, hospitality, forgiveness, reconciliation and mutual acceptance for the restoration of peace. "
Several specific recommendations contained in the final communiqué have been transmitted to the diaspora, armed groups, national security services, political actors, the Congolese Government, MONUSCO and the countries of the Great Lakes Region.
MONUSCO, for example, has been urged to enhance its support to the Congolese Government and its efforts for the protection of civilians in the conflict zones.
States in the Region have been urged to strictly respect their commitments made through the 2013 Addis Ababa Framework Agreement and the subsequent peace agreements reached in the subregion.
MONUSCO acting Deputy Special Representative for Protection and Operations, Francois Grignon, recently deplored the significant deterioration of the situation in the territories of Fizi and Uvira.
"Community militias and armed groups have again committed serious crimes: traditional chiefs have been murdered, and major destructions and thefts of livestock have been reported," he told the media in a press conference. Moreover, he deemed "unacceptable" the renewed hate speech in some media outlets as well as on the social media against the Banyamulenge community.
MONUSCO has increased its presence in the ‘’hauts plateaux’’ to act as a deterrent. She also called for a rapid reinforcement of the presence of the Congolese Armed Forces and substantial resources for FARDC to enable them to swiftly regain control of the situation.