DR Congo president commemorates Congolese genocide
Felix Tshisekedi urges Congolese to pay tribute to all those killed for economic gain
By Godfrey Olukya
KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo took part in an event in the capital Kinshasa on Wednesday commemorating the Congolese genocide.
Accompanied by first lady Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, Felix Tshisekedi paid tribute to all Congolese killed unjustly for economic gain during two wars that ravaged the country between 1996 and 2003 which left millions of soldiers and civilians dead and called for a general mobilization against aggression toward the DRC by foreign powers, according to UN radio in DR Congo.
He said the National Commemorative Day of the Congolese Genocide will be observed every year on Aug. 2.
“It is therefore with great emotion and sorrow, but also determination and resilience, by the existential adversity imposed on us, that I speak out, out of duty and responsibility, in my capacity as guarantor of the nation, to officially launch the commemoration of the Congolese genocide in memory of the millions of Congolese men and women, victims in recent decades of acts of barbarism and indescribable cruelty,” Tshisekedi said.
He said the cruelty was orchestrated by certain powers and their agents with no other motivation than their obsession with illegally exploiting Congolese natural resources.
Among the genocide eras cited by Congolese human rights activist Pecos Kabunga in an interview with Anadolu was the one at the end of 2002 through January 2003 in which 60,000 civilians and 10,000 combatants were killed in an extermination campaign by the Movement for the Liberation of Congo which had the aim of taking over the mineral-rich areas in which they lived in eastern DR Congo.
Kabunga said that Rwanda backed M23 rebels in eastern DR Congo and several other militia groups have over the past few years until today been killing civilians with the aim of grabbing mineral-rich areas.
He said the worst genocide era was in the late 1880s to the early 1900s when the Belgians under King Leopold II reportedly killed over 5 million Congolese while they were being forced to extract rubber from rubber trees.
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