Congolese march to Parliament to draw attention to war at home

A number of local organisations joined the protest

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Photo of protesters

About 150 Congolese nationals marched to Parliament on Saturday to draw attention to the war in their country. Photo: Vincent Lali

About 150 Congolese nationals marched to Parliament on Saturday to draw attention to war in their country. They sang and carried placards that read: “Justice for Congo”, “Rwanda is killing Congo” and “Stop the genocide”.

Chris Olingo, one of the organisers of the march, who says he lived in the province at the epicentre of the war, said a genocide was unfolding in eastern Congo.

Addressing the marchers, Joe-Yves Salankang, vice chair of the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa, said, “rogue countries” were fighting to control and loot the country’s mineral resources.

“They are fuelling violence for over 30 years in the east side of Congo,” he said.

A memorandum addressed to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor calls for “sanctions against Rwanda and Uganda, which are the visible leaders of the sanctuaries of the armed groups operating in Congo”.

Nolufefe Daliwe, senior protection officer in Parliament, received the memorandum.

Among the organisations that joined the march were Africa Unite, GOMA Community, Palestine Solidarity Coalition, Cape Peninsula Student Representative Council and Youth Rise.

Thandi Ndlovu, chairperson of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Belville campus SRC, said, “We need to stand as a young community of students for people in Congo. I will stand with refugees who come to South Africa to seek safety.”

In February, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 2,900 South African troops to the Southern African Development Community force fighting armed groups and Tutsi-led M23 rebels in Congo.

Uganda and Rwanda have denied involvement in the war.

TOPICS:  Human Rights Immigration

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