Congolese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu said on Tuesday that his country would not participate in the Humanitarian Conference in Geneva scheduled for 13 April.
DRC government rejection to take part in this conference was fueled by the fact that the country has been placed in a category of failed states that are constantly under bombing and infiltrated by foreign forces.
Okitundu said he had notified the UN Secretary-General in a letter dated 31 March.
“We have expressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations our astonishment to see the DRC classify in L3, that is to say the highest level of gravity. Categorization that projects an image of extreme and widespread disaster, “said Leonard She Okitundu.
According to him, the humanitarian situation of the DRC is likened to certain countries of the world “where high-intensity wars are taking place involving armies of several countries with massive and recurrent bombings for many years and accompanied by a collapse of the State.”
“This is absolutely not the case in the DRC, which is more likely to face unconventional and asymmetric attacks by terrorist groups and criminal armed groups,” the head of diplomacy said.
Leonard She Okitundu recognizes that the humanitarian situation in the DRC is not “less worrying” but protests against “the exaggeration in the description that does not correspond to the reality on the ground.”
“It is even counterproductive for the image and attractiveness of our country, and acts as a foil for potential investors in the DRC. This goes against the major interest of the Congolese people, “he said.
However, according to the African Human Rights Association (ASADHO), the government’s decision not to participate in the Geneva humanitarian conference does not take into account the realities on the ground.
Jean-Claude Katende that heads ASADHO, told local media that DRC has been in a crisis for several years.
“We believe that this decision of the government does not take into account the realities on the ground, which indeed demonstrate that we have a crisis in Congo,” Katende said on Tuesday.
There have been problems in Kasai province that caused many residents to flee their villages and there are some who are refugees in neighboring countries.
“Our compatriots in the East have been suffering from the horrors of armed groups for several years. To this we must add what is happening in Tanganyika, in Ituri and what happened in Kasaï, “said Katende.