Rwandans in Belgium rally
Hundreds of Rwandans living in Belgium yesterday held a peaceful demonstration to protest against the violence targeting Rwandans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by a clique of Congolese youth.
The demonstrations which were organized by members of the Rwandan Diaspora in Belgium, also attracted a big number of friends of Rwanda, Belgians and several media houses in Belgium including, Belgian Television, RTBF, Belga, Le Soir and Le Vif.
Clad in white t-shirts, the demonstrators moved in uniform lines and held placards with words in the main languages used in Belgium; Belgian and Flemish. The message inscribed on their t-shirts and placards was calling on the Belgian authorities to safe guard the security of Rwandans in Congo, seek justice for the victims and also punish those involved in the violence against Rwandans in Congo. The protestors also emphasized that the problems of Congo shouldn’t be Rwanda’s burden.
Though the demonstrators had organized their own security detail, many Belgian police were also present to witness the peaceful demonstrations. Over 10 Congolese who attempted to disrupt the rally were arrested.
The group of Congolese young militants calling themselves ‘Compatriote Combattants Congolais’ recently assaulted and badly injured a Rwandan youth. This group of unruly Congolese youth has been terrorizing Rwandans and everyone with connection to Rwanda.
The assault took place on July 28 in the wake of unfounded allegations that Rwanda was supporting M23 mutineers who have driven the national army out of a series of strategic defences over claims of unmet demands by the government.
This is not the first time for Rwandans in Congo to face such harassment. Last year, following the presidential elections in the DRC, a wave of violence was also mounted by Congolese against Rwandans in Brussels.
By Bryan Kimenyi, The New Times
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