AFRICA/DR CONGO - Appeal to save the life of a human rights activist threatened with death

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 violence   armed groups   human rights  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - A Congolese human rights activist from Kasogomba is in danger of death. According to a note from the Coordination de la Société Civile du Hauts Plateaux à Milimba, sent to Fides through missionary sources, the activist is blocked in Minembwe, in the Fizi territory, in the province of South Kivu (in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo), after his wife was killed and his son wounded during the June 13 Twigwaneho rebel incursion. "After the raid, the activist was escorted by soldiers and police to ensure the his safety and that of his family since June 14", the statement said.
"But with the deployment of Burundian soldiers in the highlands and midlands who are hunting down the armed groups, several Twigwaneho youths are in the center of Minembwe sowing fear and panic among the Congolese army. Soldiers from the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) are very few in Minembwe and fear being attacked by militiamen. For this reason, Mr. Kasogomba was notified yesterday, August 29, of the withdrawal of all the soldiers who guard his home".
"Given the worrying situation, we for the mobilization of all for the protection of the colleague who is the object of threats and assassination attempts that have already cost his wife’s life", the statement said. The activist's wife, Ms. Naruhogazi Gentille, mother of 7 children, was shot dead in her home in Madegu around 8 pm on June 13. The killers broke into the home of Mr. Kasogomba, who was not present at the time, and shot his wife twice at close range, who died instantly, while one of the sons was shot in the leg.
The Makanika-Twigwaneho group is led by an army colonel, Michel Rukundo Makanika, who defected in early 2020 and settled with his men in the Fizi highlands. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/8/2022)