“When you are done with this food, unless you decide to return to Rwanda you will be on your own and I won’t be responsible for what happens to you” these menacing words came out of Major Rodrigue’s mouth this Monday (06/07/2015) as he was scolding the Rwandan refugees in the transit camp in Kisangani for complaining about lack of food and the many more abuses that they have endured under his reign of terror. We may remind you that a bit more than a week earlier, Major Rodrigue conducted a raid on the camp during which several women were raped. This time he brought food, after starving the refugees for five days.
As a matter of fact his side kick, Lydie Moseka told the refugees last Friday before headinghome for the long weekend that she will not respond to any emergencies unless they involve someone deciding to go to Rwanda. Some of her employees even, hinted to the refugees that whatever food they ate before Thursday could have been poisoned. This sort of psychological abuse for the refugees in Kisangani has become so common and prevalent, that Lydie Moseka was heard telling to the husband whose wife is gravely ill, that the Doctors have refused to treat her, and that all she can do for him is take him to the Hospital to wait for his wife to drop dead so he can claim the body.
Major Rodrigue and Lydie Moseka have tried everything to break down these refugees, to the point of reducing them to the lowest of low animals. They have illegally detained their representatives, starved them, physically abused them, culminating in the rape of several women during a UN supported raid, planned and executed by Major Rodrigue of MONUSCO’s DDR program. They have closed all school activities for children by imprisoning the teachers, and we have learned that the only crime Yvonne Kayitesi, who has been in and out of coma since being roughed up by Major Rodrigue’s men, is guilty of, is her ability to organize prayer groups, which in the eyes of MONUSCO constitute an act of defiance.
However, this was not supposed to happen this way. The Ex combatants who laid down their weapons and opted to go into transit camps were not expected to go to Rwanda against their will. They were under the understanding that they could opt to go to Rwanda if they felt safe doing so, or another country. But for some reason, a decision to strip them of their basic human rights and dignity was made at the UN headquarters and the Kinshasa government decided to comply with this insanity, which has now resulted in the most egregious crimes being committed by UN staffers and Kinshasa representatives, against helpless refugees including women, children and the elderly.
This is a case in which, history cannot afford to repeat itself. If the UN hopes to safeguard any shred of credibility in the region, a speedy investigation into crimes committed by its staffers under its flag against these innocent refugees, should be conducted by an independent entity and those responsible should face justice.
Louise MUKASINE Duterimbere Media.