M23 Rebels: Congolese In Nigeria Protest Against UN,France, Rwanda, Others

….Accuse world leaders of frustrating efforts of DRC Government to defend its people

A protester weeping
Dr. Kanu Muangi Mucipay Viya

Citizens from the Democratic Republic Republic of Congo (DRC) living in Nigeria, have staged a protest in Lagos demanding that World Leaders should respect their people’s right to life and immediately resolve the over 20 years of unrest in their country caused by the M23 rebels.

The protesters who conveyed on both the French Embassy and United Nations (UN) office in Ikoyi, were visibly weeping as they accused world leaders of paying deaf ears to the plights of Congolese as well as denying them the right to protect themselves.

Holding their country’s National flags of various sizes and placards bearing incriptions capturing their demands, they first converged on the popular Falomo roundabouts, from where they matched to the French Embassy and then UN office, in Ikoyi.

At the French Embassy,quarrel ensued between them and the embassy’s security operatives, who denied them access to the Consul General and subsequently called armed military personnel to scare them away.

Addressing Journalists, the Chairman, Diaspora of Congolese in Nigeria, Dr. Kanu Muangi Mucipay Viya said they came to the embassy to formally register their anger towards France and other world leaders, for allegedly frustrating their country’s efforts to protect and defend her people.

“We came here to protest. We are bringing to official record that we came to the Embassy of France in Lagos, to say that we are simply tired and frustrated by the hypocrisy of the international community , especially France”, said Muangi amidst a crowd of visibly angry and weeping fellow protesters.

“France has been our good friend for years. We never has any problem. We keep embassies in both countries. We call ourselves brothers. But the point is that ,for a while ,we have noticed that our country has been invaded at the eastern region by the so-called rebels , M23. All the report of experts point to the fact that these are not rebels. They are actually Rwandan army personnel disguising as rebels. They are coming to attack us. Since about 20 years and more, and the international community is saying nothing about that”, he stated.

Muangi submitted that by allowing a Rwandan , Louise Mushikiwabo continue to be the Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie, even after her country had officially withdrawn from being francophone , shows that France is working in favour of Rwanda against them.

“This country we are talking about, Rwanda are making sure they establish themselves in Congo. We have reliable proof that they are the ones attacking us internally.

“Rwanda was a francophone, but in 2008 their leader, Paul Kagame asked to leave from the Francophone zone to go to Anglophone zone. So,why is it that France still keep Rwandan citizen, a lady as Secretary General of that international organization of Francophony?

“We are the largest country in the world speaking French. We are giving them honour in using their language. We are helping them to implement French language. But a country that has officially abandoned France,they are still backing that country. Why are they giving them the post of Secretary general”?

This is coming as a shipment of weapon belonging to the government of Congo to enable it fight the rebels,has reportedly been intercepted and held under the watch of the UN Security Council.

While condemning the development, Muangi asked that the weapons be released to the Congolese Government to defend the country’s territory as well as her citizens.

A letter by the protesters to the Tijoni Muhammed-Bande, Representive of the UN Secretary General, United Nations Headquarters reads,

“You Excellency ,

“The Diaspora of Congolese (DRC) living in Nigeria wishes to express it’s displeasure towards the lack of statement from your noble office condemning the Rwandan army invasion into the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo disguised as M23 rebels.

“Infact, the Mapping report compiled by your distinguished experts revealed without doubt the presence of the Rwandan troops into the Eastern area of our country.

“This report has been distributed to each state member of the UN Security Council. Since then, no condemnation has been made against Rwanda; instead,there was an embargo emphasized to our country not to purchase arms and ammunition to defend itself.

“This couldn’t permit the protection of people and goods hence the peace keeping UN mission, MONUSCO , is having inferior military equipments compared to the rebels (Rwandan army) sophisticated one as declared by the UN Secretary General Millions of Congolese especially women and children are either killed or internally displaced.

“The international community is just blind and insensitive to our incessant pleas. While asking the DRC government to engage in dialogue with these M23 terrorists, empowered by Rwandan government to meet up with their unreasonable demands.

“This situation has led to our frustration, leaving us with only one way for us to protest peacefully and express our happiness since DRC is not different with what is happening to Ukraine.

“Hoping that proper amends will be made by the honourable office, kindly accept our profound consideration.

The Congolese protesters comprising mostly boys and girls, women and few elders were at the French Embassy, Ikoyi for over two hours, awaiting the Consul General, Mrs. Lawrence Monmayrant to come out in person and receive their protest letter.

While waiting, they individually decried wanton killings of their people by the M23 in the troubled Eastern part of Congo.

Some of them claimed that the unrest was the reason they fled their country and would return home as soon as the situation improves.

By Innocent Onoh/+2348034158834

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