KIGALI - The recently released United Nations Mapping report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), yesterday, sparked anger amongst Senators and Deputies, who were riled by flaws in the controversial document.
The report accuses the Rwandan army of committing atrocities in the former Zaire. MPs reactions followed presentations to the House by local experts in political, legal and military affairs on several irregularities and intentional mistakes in the report.
The president of the Senate Dr. Vincent Biruta wondered if the report was aimed at solving problems or causing further conflicts in the region, and reminded his colleagues the role of Parliament, saying that lawmakers should do what it takes to ensure that the document does not mislead the public.
Sen. Joseph Karemera said; “with this report, Parliament has a big challenge. It is evident that it is aimed at creating divisions in the region so that the UN can have work to do…this is why we have to condemn it in the strongest terms.”
“The whole report does not mention out one RPA/RDF soldier who killed a person,” wondered lawmaker Jean Baptiste Rucibigango.
MP Hamidou Omar, who takes a low profile in Parliament, finally spoke, angrily dismissing the report and accusing some European countries of having pushed for its publication.
“We should also expose those countries. We should come up with a detailed report refuting this UN document,” he said.
MP Anne Marie Musabyemungu was a refugee in the camps in DRC. She is among many that the Rwandan army repatriated from the Congolese jungles.
“I accuse the United Nations for the death of many in the camps, they had the ability to prevent people from dying but they just ignored them as many died on a daily basis,” she said.
“There were many people in the camps who died of some toxic substances as a result of a volcanic eruption, others died of cold while a very big number died of cholera.”
“I am informed there are still some other refugees in DR Congo who are still dying of these epidemics and need help. The parliament should stand up in protest against the UN,” she said.
MP Marie Rose Mureshyankwano was also a refugee in the Congo camps.
“I was in those camps mentioned in the report but I personally never saw any of the RPA soldiers committing the atrocities,” she said.
She hastened to add that the camps were located in the jungles which made all refugees vulnerable to any attack.
“If the RPA soldiers wanted to kill us, I assure you, nobody would have survived; they instead led us back to our country,” she said.
In the same spirit, MP Suzanne Mukayijore called upon Rwandans who were in the camps to put together their testimonies and tell the truth of what happened in the camps.
Presenting her own analysis, MP Pélagie Mukantaganzwa said that the report is partly aimed at covering up the UN’s failures in the DRC.
“The RPA’s repatriation of refugees practically exposed the UN’s failures; this report is aimed at covering up their weaknesses,” she said.
Mukantaganzwa also urged all Rwandans holding leadership positions to use their influence in refuting the UN report.
, said that the UN owes Rwanda an apology and that the organ should admit its own misgivings.
“The same Rwandan army that the UN is using in peacekeeping mission is the same force they accuse of atrocities, so, where is the balance in this case?” wondered vocal lawmaker, Connie Bwiza.
After several presentations and interventions by MPs, Senators and experts, the House adopted all the proposals forwarded.
The experts who dissected the report for the lawmakers included Brig Gen Richard Rutatina, the Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security and researchers Tom Ndahiro and Jean Damascène Bizimana.