The protests by the Democratic Republic of the Congo against the M23 rebel group are turning xenophobic, according to the governor of Kinshasa, the country’s capital, Mr. Gentiny Ngobila.
This week, protesters have held large demonstrations in cities against the Group accused of renewed violence in eastern DRC.
But the protests have also stirred up anti-Rwandan and anti-Rwandan sentiment.
Governor Ngobila condemned “with the utmost vigour” those acts of xenophobia, which he said were targeting people who played no part in the violence, on social media.
DRC President Felix Tshisekedi last week accused Rwanda of supporting M23, dismissed an indictment against Kigali and asked the DRC to solve its “internal” problems.
In Goma, North Kivu province in eastern Democracy In the Republic of Congo, demonstrators threatened to cross the border to protest in Rwanda. They were turned away by Congolese riot police.
Read:M23 war threatens to spill over into Rwanda
“I condemn the calls for uprising and acts of xenophobia towards all foreign populations, especially those from Rwanda, who have chosen Congo as their second home.
“This behavior, which tarnishes the image of our city and undermines our legendary hospitality, is unacceptable. We will not tolerate uncivil acts under any pretext. I urge the population to remain calm.”
A similar concern was raised at the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (Monusco). “The United Nations is also deeply concerned by the number of reports of increasing hate speech in the country against certain communities, particularly in relation to the resurgence of the M23. Hate speech must be proactively combated throughout the DRC,” said Ndeye Khady Lo, deputy spokesman for Monusco, on Wednesday.
Last week, the UN mission in the DRC brought the communities living in Kivu together, especially the dogs, Hutu, Nande, Nyanga, Tembo and Tutsi, to sensitize them to social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
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