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Gatumba Massacres of the Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) Refugees in Burundi 10 Years on by: Douglas Gasore Kabunda /

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Presentation on theme: "Gatumba Massacres of the Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) Refugees in Burundi 10 Years on by: Douglas Gasore Kabunda /"— Presentation transcript:

1 Gatumba Massacres of the Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) Refugees in Burundi 10 Years on by: Douglas Gasore Kabunda /

2 Heinous Massacres Against Banyamulenge Points to be Covered 1.Historical Context of the Banyamulenge Tragic History Brief overview of Banyamulenge as an Ethnic Group in DRC From Cattle keepers to Refugees 2. Banyamulenge refugees Who are they? Chronological Events leading up to the massacres 3. Bloody Friday (13 th August 2004)

3 Banyamulenge, A minority Ethnic Group in DRC The Term “ Banyamulenge ” has been historically used to describe the ethnic Tutsi Congolese, concentrated on the High Plateau of South Kivu, in the eastern region of the DRC, close to the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border.

4 Banyamulenge, A minority Ethnic Group in DRC They are an ethnic minority from South Kivu, Their homeland is the highland triangle roughly bounded by the towns of Fizi, Uvira, and Mwenga (referred to as Hauts Plateaux as shown in the previous slide). Historically, the Banyamulenge have been a pastoralist and nomadic community, and form one of an estimated 400+ ethnic or linguistic groups currently living in DRC. They are sometimes referred t o as “Rwandophone” and it is believed by some historians that: That some ancestors of the Banyamulenge probably settled in the region in the 1880s.

5 Banyamulenge, A minority Ethnic Group in DRC Banyamulenge speaks Kinyamulenge, which is a dialect of Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, the languages of Rwanda and Burundi respectively. Nevertheless, they have always been considered as foreigners in their own country. In the DRC, members of the Banyamulenge community and other communities of Rwandan origin are the only ones targeted for what they are (on ethnic grounds), regardless of their political allegiance.

6 Indiscriminately cycle of violence's Against Banyamulenge Since the colonial era, Banyamulenge have been undergoing discrimination and exclusion whereby they have been treated by the colonial rulers as immigrants from Rwanda who could not exercise any civic right in Congo. In 1960s the Banyamulenge were accused of not taking part in the Mulelist rebellion, and, consequently were violently killed in the “Dark Thursday” of 19th February 1966, where, in the villages of Kirumba and Kahwela, all men were decapitated. Since then, ordinary Banyamulenge in the DRC lived in constant fear for their lives.

7 Indiscriminately cycle of violence's Against Banyamulenge In 1982 more extreme political exclusion and persecution took place, and in 1991 electoral exclusion led to the Banyamulenge rebelling in the Fizi area, and destroying electoral polling stations. In 1993 and 1994, they experienced extreme political violence and killing, catalysed by regional political instability (whenever fighting occurred between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda or Burundi, Banyamulenge were affected in the Congo by those conflicts). In 1996 Banyamulenge community experienced mass deportation from both the South-eastern and Shaba regions.

8 Genocide Planned and executed After the downfall of the Hutu-led, genocidal government in Rwanda in 1994, about 700,000 to 1 million Rwandan Hutu refugees fled across the DRC border. These Hutu extremists began to attack the Congolese Tutsis with support from the Zairian government, which sought to marginalize the Banyamulenge and other Congolese Tutsi because they perceived them as being foreigners and having ties to the neighbouring power, Rwanda.

9 Genocide Planned and executed Plan instigated by the Vice- President of Parliament Anzuluni Bembe, MP Ramazani Mwene malungu, Governors of South Kivu Kyembo wa Lumona and Lwabanji Lwasi lwango and Shweka Mutabazi and the Army Commnader Eluki Monga Aundu, to implement the famous commission of “Vangu Mambweni” Of denial of native rights to Congolese Tutsi. In 1998, Kabila enforced an extreme ideology, through his cabinet director, Abdoulaye Yerodia Ndombasi’s, in the form of a media campaign to promote genocide, which led to insurgencies in Kalemie and Bukavu, and the violent killing of Banyamulenge in Kinshasa, Kalemie, Lubumbashi and 400 students in Kamina military training centre

10 Bloody Friday – Final Solution GATUMBA In 2004, Banyamulenge experienced one of the worst crimes against humanity, the Gatumba refugee camp genocidal massacre in Burundi, by a regional coalition of “negative forces” led FNL of Agato Rwasa. It was in the night of 13th-14th August 2004, 164 innocent Banyamulenge refugees on Burundian territory (Gatumba area) were cruelly slaughtered: Innocent men, women and children were killed under heinous conditions. The victims were either, killed by machete, burned, or shot to death simply because they were Tutsis. Over 116 were injured in this event

11 Bloody Friday – Final Solution GATUMBA The sheer horror of the atrocities committed against innocent refugees many of them women and children can be summarised in the following slides. Warning The following slide show contains extremely graphic scenes

12 Gatumba Massacres

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17 Claiming Responsibility Gatumba Refugee camp tragic killings were implemented by the HUTU extremist group (FNL- under the leadership of Mr Habimana Pasteur and Agatho Rwasa There are also obvious evidences that the killing operations were conducted by FNL-PALIPEHUTU, FDLR composed by Interahamwe that committed genocide in Rwanda, and Mai-Mai under authority of Col. NAKABAKA, BALEKE, EKOFO, jointly with DRC’s soldiers chaired by General BUDJA MABE and Col. MUTUPEKE.

18 Justice must be served On this Tenth anniversary and remembrance of victims of the Gatumba massacre, we recognise that since the crime was committed, no active steps have been taken to bring perpetrators to justice. Therefore, we Banyamulenge in UK and around the world, Friends and sympathisers urge: The international community to deliver on the promise of justice made to survivors of the Gatumba atrocities in the immediate aftermath of the crime The United Nations to use all appropriate means to bring Agathon Rwasa and other perpetrators of the massacre to justice. The Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other sub-regional countries to cooperate in rehabilitating the victims.

19 Justice must be served On behalf of Banyamulenge UK Community, Thank you And God Bless you


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