“They broke through the door and killed them by machete strikes to avoid wasting ammo,” says Eugene L. Buzake, lawyer at Goma, capital of the North Kivu province of Congo. It is he who first learned the news of the boys massacred in Kiwanja, in the night between November 5 and 6, by General Rebel Offensive guerrillas Laurent Nkunda. He came just 10 kilometers from Goma yesterday, responding to the assault of government forces.
The carnage throws a shadow on the Nairobi summit, which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda, Paul Kagame, gathered yesterday to seek in vain a political solution to the conflict that Bloated from last August the mining areas controversy near the Rwandan border. The summit ended with the further call for ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor.
It is the first time that Nkunda’s army, unofficially supported by Rwanda, deliberately killed civilians outside a military clash.
“Two Sisters called us to tell us that a carnage was going on,” said Buzake, immediately alerted MONUC’s humanitarian affairs office, but he did not intervene. ” The United Nations peace mission has the power to shoot to defend the population, but has remained helpless in the face of another massacre. Kwanja, 80 kilometers northwest of Goma, is guarded by a hurricane blue helmet handgrip, and sending any reinforcements along the mud scarf requires no less than two hours. “I can not confirm that we were prevented while killing was ongoing,” says Madnodje Mounoubai, MONUC spokeswoman. She has started an official investigation.
There are more than 50 victims, many of whom are still alive.The massacre seems to be retaliating against the offensive conducted by paramilitaries Mai Mai, governmental allies. Their raid had provisionally dropped Nkunda from some villages in the Rutshuru area. “The men of Nkunda have taken revenge on young men who are unfaithful, accusing them of being hired by Mai Mai,” continues Buzake.
Yesterday fighting between the rebels and the regular army continued on the hills of Kibati, at the gates of Goma, returning to the city rivers of terrified floods that have now crossed the 300,000 in the entire area involved in the conflict. Fearing the worst, MONUC evacuated part of humanitarian personnel in special security areas. Angola’s sudden government intervention by the government is likely to extend the crisis to other Central African countries.
Some Congolese activists speak of opposite genocide: this time the Tutsis, exterminated by the Hutu in Rwanda in ’94, planned to kill the Congolese people of North Kivu.
“If it is true that Nkunda is battling to break up the old Hutu genocide band (FDLR) that retreats to Congo, why it does not attack them instead of bribing it with innocent people ?” said fervently Innocent, a radio reporter for Radio Dorica Fm who has a movie in his hand which would be the presence of Rwandan guerrillas in the ranks of the rebels.
Nkunda proclaims that his war will not cease as long as the FDLRs are not neutralized by the Congolese government. “The fight to the FDLR is just an excuse invented by Rwanda to embrace the abundance of North Kivu,” concludes Innocent, “pushing for the Kabila-Kagame summit the international community has shown that it wants to” balkanize the Congo: the goal And negotiate its territorial disintegration.”