Kikaya bin Karubi, a member of Congo’s Parliament, said General Nkunda’s arrest “could be the beginning of the end of all the misery.”(source)
“Look what happened at Kiwanja,” he said, referring to a small Congolese town where United Nations officials said General Nkunda’s forces went door to door, summarily executing dozens of civilians in November.
However, even though General Nkunda is a Tutsi, the Hutus of Kinshasa are incensed that he is being falsely accused by the UN and others of atrocities in Kiwanja, so much so that they sent out this response, originally in French, which has now been translated:
Object: Clarifications regarding the killings at KIWANJA on the dates 11/04/08 and 11/05/08.
To the Honorable National and Provincial elected officials of Rutshuru at KINSHASA and at GOMA.
We, members of the community HUTU of the Rutshuru base, having kept pace with the waves of declarations of honorable Jean Bosco BARIHIMA, Ernest KYAVIRO and NYABIRUNGU MWENE SONGA as well as those of President Jean SEKABUHHORO of the
HUTU community of KINSHASA on the topic of the events at KIWANJA of the 4th and 5th of November where there was death of men.
All in adopting their worry for protection of the population, we nonetheless have deplored the contradictions concerning the description of acts that logically each person would have been able to refer to at the root for reliable facts if at least they still have confidence in this basis that they pretend to defend. At the regard of this confusion certainly sown by a spirit of contempt of the base and with the goal of distracting whoever would like to establish the truth, we have insisted on carrying a formal denial regarding all the allegations given over to the media.
The CNDP entered KIWANJA on 10/28/08 without beating or killings. All the population is witness and the FARDC came to avoid the removal of men, of whom certain are not yet found at present, goods such as the bikes, mopeds, and cars without talking of looted merchandise. No deputy mentioned/recalled this case as if it is within the rights of the FARDC to act thus.
2. The Acts
On 11/04/08, just after a week of total tranquility, the MAIMAI-PARECO-FDLR coalition, presents itself at KIWANJA in the middle of the day in order to sow/spread desolation. Alas many among them were in civilian clothes but armed. This resulted in total confusion. Some officers and servicemen of the CNDP and some journalists and their drivers were taken, fires were set all over the city without response by the CNDP and their forces came in. On 11/05/2008 the response of the CNDP intervenes and the coalition is in the middle of crushing defeat. It is in the course of these affronts that there were many deaths principally in the MABUNGO Quarter where the combats took place. Subsequently well understood is the massive displacement of the population.
3. The Damages
a) Human Damages:
In the city of KIWANJA and its surrounding areas, 74 people, of which 5 in uniforms had found the dead (probably should read “were found dead”) without counting the bodies of combatants transported by their own. Among the wounded, we have inventoried ten found in health facilities. All 69 civilian killings belong to all ethnicities, contrary to declarations of deputies/representatives who abusively attribute them to their ethnic group. We are not able to attribute the responsibility for these events to the CNDP while these people are dead, several on the battlefield and another in the crossfire between the CNDP and all the coalition.
The attached list of victims will be authentic to those who would like to know the truth. Among the people taken (word could mean “rescued” or “kidnapped”), three of the CNDP were miraculously able to escape, two were killed by the MAIMAI while the two journalists and their chauffeur were returned to the MONUC.
b) Material Damages
The damages are enormous and won’t be precisely known until the effective resumption of activities, but the basics return (are returned?) in pillaging merchandise, cows, vehicles, telephones, money, household goods, and the destruction of buildings by bombs. We consider that the statements made by the deputies/representatives are nothing but treason given that they were published without consultation of the only reliable source on the ground; we demand that they provide other elements or proof that is contrary to this here.
We also remind them that some such erroneous declarations do nothing but fuel the hatred between authority and those managed instead reinforcing peaceful cohabitation.
Thus, we think you to be sufficiently clarified
For the community,
The President: Mamert Muzige
The Reporter: Jean Paul Rurahoze
The Councilors: 1. Pascal Uzamukanda
2. Patrice Mpabuka