A minority group in Congo under pressure
New report on the plight of the Banyamulenge
New report on the plight of the Banyamulenge:
• Today, on the occasion of "Africa Day", the STP published the report "Die Banyamulenge – Eine Minderheit als geopolitischer Spielball" (The Banyamulenge – A minority as a geopolitical pawn)
• The minority group in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo lives on resource-rich territory
• Various militias are active in the region, the army and the UN Mission are failing to protect the civilian population
The Banyamulenge in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo are suffering from almost daily attacks and threats. More than 100 armed militia groups are active in the region, and the Congolese army is said to be cooperating with some of them. MONUSCO, the most expensive UN Mission so far, stands on the sidelines while people are expelled and killed, while villages are burned to the ground, and while huge numbers of cattle are stolen. The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has conducted research on the extremely precarious situation of this minority group – and the results were published today, on the occasion of "Africa Day", in the report "Die Banyamulenge – Eine Minderheit als geopolitischer Spielball" (The Banyamulenge – A minority as a geopolitical pawn)
"The Banyamulenge are living in a very resource-rich region, which the government is hardly able to control," stated Nadja Grossenbacher, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. "This awakens desires among the neighboring states, which are involved with some of the militia groups. And the Banyamulenge are in the way." Often, they are wrongly called "Rwandan Tutsi" and, in consequence, associated with this nation state – which further jeopardizes their standing in the eastern Congolese region of South Kivu. "The state does not protect them, although it is obliged to do so. MONUSCO does not protect them, although that is what the mandate is about," Grossenbacher added. "The Banymulenge are left on their own. Their cattle are stolen and sold – depriving them of their livelihood. Hundreds of villages have already been burned down. They are threatened in their existence."
The STP thus demands the German Federal Government to finally take the situation seriously and to try and ensure that the Congolese state and the UN mission in the country will finally take effective measures to protect the civilian population. Further, it would be necessary to stop raw materials exports from there, as these help to finance some of the militias that are terrorizing the region.
The report "Die Banyamulenge – Eine Minderheit als geopolitischer Spielball" can be downloaded here (in German) for free. Upon request, we will gladly send you a printed copy.
Nadja Grossenbacher is available for further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 551 4990627