The views expressed against the Banyamulenge people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are a signal that there is a time bomb waiting to explode.
When President Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo flew to London to attend the UK-Africa Summit that kicked off Monday, he first met with Congolese diaspora and addressed several issues of national interest and the current political atmosphere back home.
The most contentious issue back home is the debate on ‘Balkanization project’ which has gained momentum since President Tshisekedi mobilized Congolese army, to fight and remove all foreign militia operating on Congolese soil.
Most foreign militia based in forests of DRC are fighting to overthrow regimes in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi but have for decades caused unending suffering, death and destruction to Congolese people.
Internally, the debate is that these foreign Militias are an extension of a foreign plot and part of a long term project to divide the DRC and grab its land and resources – simply known as Balkanization.
Tshisekedi’s government is being pressed to task whether he will really do the job. His predecessor Joseph Kabila was vehemently accused of being a frontman for the Balkanization project for refusing to even fire a bullet at the foreign rebel groups but just allowed them to stay.
However, President Tshisekedi military campaign has gained ground against the rebel groups by overrunning their bases, killing and capturing thousands of them. At least thousands of Rwandan rebels have been captured and deported.
Inside DRC, there is a feeling that Banyamulenge people are not Congolese because of their ancestral origin in Rwanda. Some Congolese do not consider Banyamulenge as Congolese nationals.
But during his address to the Congolese Diaspora in London, President Tshisekedi said “The Banyamulenge are Congolese, they have remained from generation to generation in DRC. It’s like you who took the nationality here. It is abnormal that you are not considered. I spoke to them, asked them to demonstrate that they are Congolese through acts.”
Subject to a presidential decree signed by former leader Lt. Gen. J.D. Mobutu, the Congolese people with origins from Rwanda-Urundi became Congolese nationals in 1960 when the country gained independence.
However, after the half-hour address to the Diaspora in London the debate begun on twitter. Some do not agree with their president on the nationality status of Banyamulenge in Congo.
Balkanization revolves around these people [Banyamulenge], they do not want to live with us, they should return home in Rwanda. The kill the Congolese in Béni, if they were really Congolese, they would not have killed us like flies.- Mbuyu issa.
Do not especially make this mistake of thinking that they are not Congolese, it is just a question of organizing the state with a very good administration, we will no longer talk about ethnic groups or tribes.- Rokanza Luzolana.
Mr. President, certain errors can never be due to the world. An Angolan who lives in our country never claims part of our land, why only these strange people from Rwanda. They are there plundering our wealth massacring our brothers no no.- Moise Mbodo.
Since when did the Banyamulenge community become Congolese?- Francis Ntumba.
Is this provision a gospel word???? If our politicians take the audacity to modify intangible articles of the constitution, why not this one??? Can the president retrace the history of the Banyamulenge ??? Their origins??? – Francis Kazitala.
I think these people are Congolese of Rwandan origin as you say but they do not have the right to claim our land where we are obliged to register their dialect in our national languages, vs have never claimed Belgian land.- Francis K.
Thank you to the head of state for enlightening us, they are our brothers, they are Congolese by naturalisation and before the law we are all bound, no one is above the law we are forced to live together and our state will be able to protect our territory.- Bakadifuila Chris.
Let them stop calling themselves Congolese Tutsi. There are Tutsis in North Kivu but who do not seek to stand out like the Banyamulenge. Besides, why do they always pretend to be victims?.- Quentin Kangela
At this point there, I do not agree with Fatshi …. it is enough to leave your country and settle in a corner of another and after a few years you become Congolese but oh! This is unacceptable. Either they ask for nationality, they go home.- Citoyen du royaume.
I said it once and I was called crazy. I see that great minds meet where reason trumps feelings! The debate here lies on nationality and not on the transfer of land. And I admit it too, they are quite annoying via their actions.- Ced.tshims @Cedrictshims Congolais(RDC)
They are not Congolese and they never will be. Your deal will kill you .. Here all the Congolese (UDPS, UNC, Ecide and the political parties combined) say NO NO NO.- PatrickKabeng12
We are no longer safe with them since the disappearance of Mobutu and Mzee Laurent Désiré Kabila, They have become for us a source of misfortune bazo kotisa ba mercenaries to add they never speak lingala wana eza insult.
Mr. President we know well and the mastery of all languages that we have in our country the Banyamuleges are not figured neither their language nor their tribe Mr. president you do your work for the Congolese and for their interests, but not foreigners in the DRC.- Dems@Dems98765695.
Follow the thread here
#Tshisekedi :Les Banyamulenge sont des congolais , ils sont restés de génération en génération en #RDC. C’est comme vous qui avez pris la nationalité ici. Il est anormal qu’on ne vous considère. Je leur ai parlé, leur ai demandé démontrer qu’ils sont Congolais à travers les actes pic.twitter.com/zHZlT0Uceb
— TOP CONGO FM (@TopCongo) January 19, 2020