22 June 2012

Rwanda: The DRC Has the Obligation to Protect Foreign Nationals

The news that the eleven Rwandan nationals, handed over to immigration authorities in Rubavu, had been illegally arrested and tortured by DRC armed forces for several days is extremely unfortunate. The explanation given by the DRC authorities that they were not in possession of identification does not, at any point, justify torture.

The diplomatic challenges that the two governments are currently going through shouldn't be an excuse for human rights violations and ill treatment of ordinary and innocent people.

In Rwanda, Congolese as well as other foreign nationals are treated with the same rights as everyone else and it is unfortunate that DRC authorities are not fulfilling their international obligations of ensuring the safety of the people.

We urge the authorities in Goma to follow up on the matter and bring to justice those responsible for torture.

These sad events must be seen in a wider context. The current diplomatic furore is reopening a Pandora's Box of xenophobic sentiments and anti-Rwandan bias in the DRC.

It is the responsibility of the DRC government to ensure that all citizens are safe, irrespective of their nationality.

Copyright © 2012 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.