Rwandan envoy reassures on Zambia situation

Current signs are that the situation is under control in the Zambian capital Lusaka, Abel Buhungu, the Charge d’Affaires at the Rwandan High Commission in Zambia, said in a statement.
The looting is targeting foreigners running shops in Lusaka. (Net photo)
The looting is targeting foreigners running shops in Lusaka. (Net photo)

Current signs are that the situation is under control in the Zambian capital Lusaka, Abel Buhungu, the Charge d’Affaires at the Rwandan High Commission in Zambia, said in a statement.

He was referring to the situation in Lusaka following days of unrest in which “spontaneous” attacks and looting that started on Monday tartgeted Rwandan communities.

 

In the statement, Buhungu clarified that the attacks and looting were “sparked by rumours that a Rwandan national was among the foreign suspected individuals that had had a hand in the reported ritual killings.”

 

“I call it a rumour because when we (the Rwandan High Commission) spoke to authorities here, including the Police and of course the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Senior Officials, they informed us that there is no truth to this rumour,” reads part of his statement.

 

According to the statement, ever since the attacks and looting started on Monday, more than 60 shops have been looted and as a result, “quite a number of our nationals have sought refuge at police stations, as well as here at the Rwandan High Commission.”

The Rwanda High Commission’s interventions, it is explained, have been on three fronts: advising Rwandans in Lusaka that once threatened they should go to the nearest Police Station for safety but remain alert and avoid unnecessary movements particularly in densely populated areas; advising nationals to strictly abide and observe the national laws of the host country; and hosting Rwandans fleeing from the attacks.

As of Thursday night, the mission had a total of 50 Rwandans who had sought refuge there.

“We have subsequently as a High Commission had to provide basic necessities and of course the paramount necessity of shelter and safety, which was most needed at the time.”

Meanwhile, the statement says that the President of Zambia Edgar Lungu is reported to have also thrown his weight behind ensuring that the looting comes to a an end.

“The Zambian President has since given special orders, and the military has also been deployed to support the Police. And I have no doubt that this unsavoury situation will come to an end and that the situation will stabilize and return to normal-that is what we wish,” Buhungu said in the statement.

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