The New Times (Kigali)

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.

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