By RFIPosted on 10-22-2019Modified on 22-10-2019 at 02:09

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the province of South Kivu, from the plains of Fizi to the highlands, saw a proliferation of attacks against civilians. Around Minembwe, on the high plateaus precisely, the Congolese army and Monusco strengthen their positions but the abuses continue.

Almost everywhere around Minembwe, villages burned. The cows have almost disappeared. It is in the center that displaced people take refuge. Today, there is almost only Banyamulenge but for Eli Ntambara, representative of this community, we should not talk about community conflict.

" We were always with our friends, our brothers, with whom we lived. There are even villages where all the communities lived. But the problem is that the government does not activate to fight these armed groups, "he said.

Since last September, other communities in Minembwe have fled. There are only a few bashish traders left, but also a representative of the Bafuliro community: for Venance Kibingira, the government is responsible for this situation, but also Rwanda and Burundi.

" I can even confirm that there is instrumentalisation. If there was no instrumentalization, maybe the case here would have already ended. But it continues, every time it starts again. It stops, it starts again. And with that, it can be said that there is instrumentalization of neighboring countries. All armed groups working here in the highlands are instrumentalised. There is not one group that is not instrumentalized, "he says.

In recent months, not only Congolese groups have clashed, but also Burundian and Rwandan rebels.

For the mayor of this rural commune, Gady Mukiza, what is happening in Minembwe is not an inter-communal conflict. It is urgent, he says, to launch military operations.

We have been victims of attacks by armed Mai-Mai coalition groups ... They started in March with a strategy that has not been understood until then by burning homes, taking away cows. The Burundians FNL and RED Tabara operated alongside the Mai-Mai [...] Everyone is a loser, because everyone is fleeing.

Gady Mukiza, Mayor of Minembwe

22-10-2019 - By Sonia Rolley

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