Rwandan hidden truth: The hunt of Rwandan hutu refugees in DRC

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It is sad to start this essay by saying that the madness in our world has reached the ceiling and it will take many years, if not centuries to see world citizens abiding by the basic fundamental human rights. In fact, our enemy is our brother or sister next to us, it is not wild animals like big cats that live on fresh meat of their prey. For new readers of great lakes region tragedy, I would like to introduce to you, in a short summary, why the hunting of hutu refugees in the eastern DRC has continued and is seen by some nations/people as a hobby.

In 1990, armed people from Uganda attacked Rwanda in the name of the return of refugees that went in exile mainly in 1959-1962. This exodus was the result of the 1959 Rwandan revolution that abolished the monarchy. The majority hutu population had been under slavery for many years, under the rule of the minority tutsi elites. The reader might have time to read on the 1990 -1994 Rwandan war, the invaders were mainly Ugandan soldiers and the support was coming from Uganda. In 1993, Rwandans in different political parties found necessary to welcome the returnees through the Arusha peace accord in Tanzania. The then president Habyarimana Juvenal signed the agreement of power sharing where the RPF could get in some instances 40-50% participation. The shooting of the presidential jet that was carrying two presidents of Rwanda and Burundi (President Cyprien Ntaryamira) on the 6th April 1994 was followed by the resumption of war by RPF violating the cease-fire that was in place. This ignited the killings throughout the country.

The embargo that was imposed upon the regular Rwandan army (Forces Armées Rwandaises – FAR) gave an upper hand to the Rwandan Patriotic Front army (RPA) to take over the country in July 1994. The takeover of the country by unpopular RPF army pushed many millions of refugees to cross borders and seek refuge in the neighbouring countries. The DRC received more refugees. It is insane in the eyes of the international community to talk about Kibeho massacres in 1995 and destruction of refugees’ camps in DRC in 1996 by RPF forces (mainly tutsis). Many thousands of hutu refugees were massacred (~300 000) and others were repatriated by force. All this took place in front of the UNHCR. Dr Navy Pillay , UN high commissioner of human rights, stating that Rwandan Defence Force troops committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.http://(

The famous FDLR, Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda, was born in 2000 for mainly protecting refugees that survived the RPF massacres of 1996 ( I am not a spokesperson of FDLR, but their statements are everywhere in the media as they have been appealing to the international community to come to the rescue of refugees that have been hunted like antelopes for more than 23 years by Kigali regime.

Recently, many reliable sources were pointing out the presence of Rwandan Defence Force servicemen in the eastern DRC. This came after some meetings the new president of DRC, H. E. President Félix Tshisekedi with his counterpart from Rwanda, President Paul Kagame. The estimation of Rwandan forces in the eastern DRC is estimated to be around two battalions.


The killing of refugees leaders like Sylvestre Mudacumura will not solve the problem that has been around for more than 23 years. Countries that dare to single out individuals and use muscles of money to hunt those who do not accept the slavery of Africans should be ashamed.


Figure 1 LT General Sylvestre Mudacumura, a Rwandan refugee who fought against the slaughter of his fellow Rwandan refugees (currently around 245000) and the Congolese in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the last minute of his life. May his soul rest in peace.

In other words, it would be good to listen to these refugees and find why they do not want to return back to Rwanda. To see a joint effort between DRC and Rwanda where they hide their unwelcome actions should not be happening in the 21st century. It is very bizarre to hear from Rwandan authority that the death of Syslvestre Mudacumura will bring peace in the eastern DRC! In Rwanda many people get killed and disappear every day ( Why did not peace come to Rwanda? These are some words from the minister for regional affairs Mr Olivier Nduhungirehe:

“The death of Sylvestre Mudacumura is good news for peace and security in the region,” state minister for regional affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe told AFP. “With his genocide group, the FDLR, he was destabilising DRC, killing Congolese and Rwandans.His death confirms the commitment of President Felix Tshisekedi in fighting negative forces and will open a new era of good and peaceful cooperation between DRC and countries in the region”.

I salute the idea of Dr Denis Mukwege who unashamedly asked the international community to open the famous 2010 UN mapping report that describes the crimes of war and crimes committed against humanity and start investigations that can lead to curb the annoying impunity in the great lakes region. The words of Dr Denis Mukwege in French:

« La paix ne se construit pas sur des fosses communes. Nous sommes convaincus qu’il n’y aura pas de paix durable sans justice, et nous appelons les chefs d’Etats ici présents, l’Union Africaine, les Nations Unies et la société civile à soutenir la mise en œuvre des recommandations du Rapport Mapping du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les droits de l’Homme sur les graves violations des droits humains et du droit international humanitaire commises entre 1993 et 2003 en RDC, publié il y a presque 10 ans. Ce rapport est une cartographie de 617 crimes internationaux et appelle au recours à des mécanismes de la justice transitionnelle, tels que l’établissement d’un tribunal pénal international ou de chambres spécialisées mixtes, une commission de la vérité, des programmes de réparation et des garanties de non-répétition. »

 A civilised world should not hide behind the well-crafted words “armed groups”, “negative forces” and sometimes “terrorists” and shy away from confronting truth to solve pertinent problems that are mainly linked to the looting of African natural resources by the mighty of this world. It is true that all of us need order and law abiding citizens in every corner of our world. But, we should resist to use muscles for our own selfish interests and hunt people like antelopes, and dare to say in the news that we killed them, knowing that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The say “a person is innocent until proven guilty” is to give the weak to say his/her story. Please do not kill him/her before you hear his/her story, do not boast money and muscles to oppress human beings. Actually, this oppression is the root of terrorism. Please do not push people to use limited means to fight the well equipped oppressor. This becomes unwanted bloodshed. Our human nature does not like oppression and slavery. Our world would become better if all of us do to others what we want them to do to us. The world belongs to all who live in it, not to some who have sophisticated weapons and powerful media to spread lies.

The failure of the international community is to push under the carpet the 2010 UN mapping report. People in the great lakes region are very tired to hear that the killers of President Habyarimana Juvenal, Ntaryamira Cyprien and Melchior Ndadaye are still on the run and free enjoying themselves. The survivors of massacres in Byumba and Ruhengeri in the northern part of Rwanda by RPF need justice. The same, the survivors of Kibeho massacres need justice. These refugees in DRC who survived 1996 massacres by RPF forces need justice. Dr Denis Mukwege states that “you cannot reconcile people on top of mass graves of their children and parents, justice is urgently needed”.

The act of RDF and FARDC in killing refugees is not very different from terrorism in the great lakes region. This act opens wounds of survivors who were left on their own and denied justice in the last 23 years. These two countries should heed the call of Dr Denis Mukwege and bring justice to people, instead of creating more refugees in the great lakes region. Readers should read more to find out if FDLR are freedom fighters or terrorists. The narrative of the oppressor tends to be powerful in spreading the lies as he is the owner of the media.

Intabaza reader,

Uwiragiye Justice

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