DRC : the families of the victims of the Goma demonstration inconsolable

DRC : the families of the victims of the Goma demonstration inconsolable

Families that lost their loved ones during the repressed demonstration in the city of Goma last Wednesday are demanding justice. Let the perpetrators answer for their barbaric acts, they demand. They accuse the military government of North Kivu under the orders of Lieutenant General Constant Ndima Kongba of being at the source of the massacre of more than a dozen Congolese. The M23 condemns this killing which it says was committed by government forces and says it is stunned by the silence of the international community in the face of this act. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Rebecca Sifa Paluku, in her thirties, lost her husband who was a motorcycle taxi rider.

“My husband was killed by an FARDC soldier here next to the Uwezo wa Neno church in Wazalendu. He was on his motorbike with two clients he was transporting towards the Terminus. When I screamed, another soldier shot at me. Thank God the bullet only hit the wall of my house”, she laments.

“A neighbor’s child of around ten years old was seriously injured by a police officer when he tried to flee behind the house. I wonder why our security agents turned against us and killed us like flies”, she said worryingly.

Another eyewitness to the event claims that corpses are in the church, burned by the police.

For him, it is impossible to know the exact number of people who lost their lives in this demonstration.

“I was in the church. It was morning when we were in prayer, and we saw soldiers in FARDC uniform commonly called Hibu and well-armed police officers. They told us to open the door of the church, when we were hanging around, a soldier quickly fired live ammunition into the church. Afterwards we went out but many people remained in the church, until the soldiers and the police put it to rest. “It’s complicated for us to know the exact number of people who were burned in this church”, he insists.

Local residents demand the opening of a thorough investigation so that the perpetrators are severely punished by law.

They believe that the military governor of North Kivu and the mayor of the city of Goma should be the first to be sanctioned because they ordered the security services to shoot civilians at short range.

“The authorities must be challenged by the courts. International justice must be involved in this matter”, says Espoir Ngalukiye, executive of the political party Ensemble pour la République of Congolese opponent Moïse Katumbi Tshapwe.

The government mentions 43 people killed

In a press release made public on August 31, Patrick Muyaya, spokesperson for the Congolese government, indicates that the toll has greatly increased, well after the military governor’s press release.

“According to the report sent by the military and medical authorities, the toll shows 43 deaths, 57 injured including 20 treated at the Katindo Military Hospital camp, 29 at the CEBCA Ndosho hospital and 7 at Heal Africa”, he specifies.

The Minister of Communication explains that “158 people were apprehended, including the leader of the sect, who are currently in the hands of the authorized services”, he said.

While sympathizing with the families of the victims, the government supports the investigation already initiated by the military prosecutor’s office, Goma garrison, to establish responsibilities, so that those guilty of this carnage can answer for their actions before military justice.

Patrick Muyaya underlines that a government delegation will go to Goma to take stock of the situation.

He reiterates the call for calm launched by the provincial authority, while inviting vigilance.


The M23 speaks of 97 people dead.

The leadership of the March 23 Movement says it is stunned by the silence of the international community in the face of the continued massacres of civilians.

“The M23 condemns with the utmost energy the brutal massacre of unarmed civilians perpetrated by the forces of the Kinshasa government in the city of Goma on August 30, 2023”, the rebellion said in a statement.

It demands independent investigations into these and other killings carried out by Kinshasa government forces.

According to M23, the death toll has increased. It amounts to 97 deaths.

“The Kinshasa government has failed to restore peace in eastern DRC”, notes this rebel movement.

On August 30, Congolese security forces bloodily repressed a demonstration organized by a mystical-religious sect in the capital of North Kivu in Goma. It opposed the presence of MONUSCO (United Nations Mission in the DRC) and the regional force of the EAC which the demonstrators consider “ineffective”.

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