Goma, 19 April 2011 - MONUSCO has facilitated 5 provincial parliamentarians’ mission to the territory of Sud-Lubero, situated about 150 kms north-west of the city of Goma, to defuse nascent tension there between the Hutus/Tutsis and the Nandes. During their 4-day mission, between 12 and 15 April 2011, the five parliamentarians from Beni, Lubero and Masisi attempted to bring together 388 Hutu/Tutsi and Nande families who consider themselves to be the autochthones and refer to the new comers as “Returnees”.
The return of the 388 families three the Nande communities into hysteria as they saw their return as part of a plan for the invasion of their lands. Such an approach has led to discrimination and physical threat at the new communities.
MONUSCO, at provincial authorities’ request, accepted to facilitate the four-day mission by providing the parliamentarians’ mission with means of transport, logistic and first-hand information to facilitate a better perception of the situation.
At Luofu, the parliamentarians held consultations with the different local communities and traditional leaders through their representatives so as to understand the sociological realities about these communities, which helped them analyse the situation and secure the different parties’ involvement in the effort for defusing the tension.
The following proposals were then made: that new movements of returnees be stopped until further notice; that returnees be identified and negotiations on the arable lands be initiated. As a recall, some Hutus and Tutsis have been living there since the years 1990s. Following the conflicts having affected the province, they took refuge in Masisi.
The five parliamentarians will submit their mission’s report to the provincial parliament and authorities for a follow-up of the recommendations.