Immediate action to be taken: Arrest Agathon Rwasa.
From 13-14 August 2016, the Gatumba Refugees Survivors Foundation is hosting the 12th annual Gatumba Genocide Memorial Gathering to commemorate the memory of hundreds of innocent Congolese Banyamulenge Tutsi refugees, who were brutally killed at the Gatumba Refugee Camp in Gatumba, Burundi. This memorial is open to the public and will be held at 1441 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85021, USA. The purpose of this memorial is to request justice, to provide healing to all who have been affected by different kinds of atrocities in DRC and Burundi, to draw public awareness to the ongoing plight of those still suffering in Eastern DRC and Burundi and to promote a spirit of reconciliation and sustainable peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
During the night of 13 August 2004, in the UN-run Gatumba Refugee Camp-Burundi, FNL combatants mercilessly slaughtered 166 unarmed Congolese refugees, the majority of whom were defenseless women and children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The 166 who lost their lives, the additional 116 who were injured and their traumatized families that bore witness to this atrocity, were targeted based solely on their ethnicity. These victims were almost exclusively members of the Banyamulenge community, a Congolese Tutsi minority. Prior to the attack, the Gatumba Refugee Camp, located just a few miles from the DRC, provided refuge to thousands of Banyamulenge who had been forced from their homes in the Southern Kivu region of the DRC by various terrorist and militia groups, such as Interahame, FNL and the Mai Mai. Innocent civilians continue to suffer a wide variety of injustices and persecutions in this forgotten and ignored portion of the world. The Gatumba genocide is just one of many atrocities that have occurred and continue to occur in the Great Lakes region of Africa due to the culture of impunity. Since that horrific night, some of the Gatumba Survivors and their families have been relocated to safety in communities across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. However, families of the resettled still live in fear and persecution in DRC, Burundi, Malawi and Kenya especially after the infamous genocidal Agathon Rwasa has been promoted as deputy speaker in the Burundian National Assembly by President Nkurunziza regime.
On a greater scale, the survivors and other attendees will use the memorial occasion as a platform to draw awareness and to pressure the international community to bring the authors of the Gatumba Genocide such as the FNL leader Agathon Rwasa, to justice. Agathon has been constantly claiming responsibility of the genocide. The former South African President Thabo Mbeki called on Rwasa to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court and the Great Lakes Regional Peace Initiative declared the FNL as a terrorist organization. The Burundian government also issued an arrest warrant against Rwasa. This is an opportunity for people who are passionate about preventing atrocities and crimes against humanity, to come together against impunity and genocide ideology in both DRC and Burundi. People of all backgrounds and races are welcomed to join us for this great cause that seeks to save lives.
Disproportionate violence, torture, and discrimination against innocent Banyamulenge civilians in Eastern DRC and Burundi that continues to this day, must be stopped. Everyone in the Congo and Burundi deserves the same basic human dignity and equality that we all enjoy in the West. We request your assistance to be the voice for the innocent voiceless Banyamulenge Tutsis still suffering in silence in borth Eastern DRC and Burundi. There is no better way to save these innocent lives than arresting the infamous genocidal-Agathon Rwasa.
Last but not least, the Gatumba Genocide Memorial Gathering helps survivors and their families maintain old bonds and forge new connections, pay respects to those who were murdered, and provide a path for continued healing of many emotional wounds. The memorial serves also as an opportunity for the survivors of the Gatumba Genocide and other refugees to acquire new insight for a more productive and successful life in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
For more information:
Call or email the office of
Gatumba Refugees Survivors Foundation, Inc. 501-c (3) (GRSF)
14 North manning Blvd., Suite 33
Albany, New York 12206
Olivier Mandevu, President: 1-518-253-5177
Espe Nasezerano, Secretary: 1-404-401-4496
August 13-14, 2016
1441 W. Glendale Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85021
Click for map / directions