North Kivu: Congolese justice has opened an investigation into the case of the Goma demontrators massacres

North Kivu: Congolese justice has opened an investigation into the case of the Goma demontrators massacres

Citizen movements and pressure groups in North Kivu, along with civil society activists, want to see perpetrators of Goma massacres on August 30 “answer for their barbaric acts” which claimed around forty civilians, according to the Congolese authorities. Justice has already started a flagrant trial involving six defendants, including two high-ranking officers in the Congolese army. The Congolese government recalled the military governor of North Kivu and two local police and intelligence officials to Kinshasa. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The civil society in Goma (North Kivu capital, eastern DRC) is demanding guarantees to ensure that the victims’ families and survivors can feel comfortable.

“It is inconceivable to see the army supposed to secure the population shooting at civilians under the order of the provincial executive. We really think that this time our justice must be serious and punish all the perpetrators of these massacres”, says Martin Ngavho Kambale, president of Goma’s urban civil society.

For Mr. William Kavungera of the citizen movement “Struggle for Change (LUCHA)” in North Kivu, it is the former provincial governor, Lieutenant General Constant Ndima Kongba who must be tried first.

“The governor must be the first to answer for this barbarity. And I ask the head of state to end the state of siege because he has failed in his mission in our province,” he explained.

Legal proceedings

The flagrant trial of military and police officers allegedly responsible for the bloody repression during the demonstration of followers of a mystical-religious sect against the presence of MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC) and against the regional force of the EAC, opened this Tuesday late before noon at the military prosecutor’s office of Goma.

Government delegation

Members of the central government on mission to Goma accompanied by the army’s general prosecutor attended a hearing of defendants in order to present charges against the suspects during the first day of the hearings.


The six defendants are being prosecuted for “shooting live ammunition at unarmed civilians”.

Officers involved

The Congolese government announced this Monday the arrest of two military officials. They are Colonel Makamba Mikombe Mike of the Republican Guard and the commander of the 19th FARDC regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Bawili Mbolitini Donatien (in North Kivu). They are detained at the Goma military prosecutor’s office. Two other police officers, the police chief in the city of Goma and the deputy representative of the ANR (National Intelligence Agency) in North Kivu were suspended from their duties. After this suspension on Tuesday afternoon, the two men were sent directly to Kinshasa, the Congolese capital.

“They will be heard by the courts but like the former governor, it is prison that awaits them,” said a local observer. Congolese Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Kazadi said they were called “for consultations.” For the Congolese authorities, “responsibilities must be cleared in this matter.”

New governor

General Jacques Nduru becomes the provincial governor, replacing Lieutenant General Constant Ndima Kongba at the head of the North Kivu province. He is a high-ranking officer in the Congolese army who knows the region where he has been assigned since the start of the state of siege in May 2021. Until then, he held the position of deputy head of military operations in the North Kivu.

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

At least 43 civilians were killed by police and the army and 57 others injured, according to a Congolese government report.

Some victims were burned alive, according to testimonies collected by SOS Médias Burundi from followers of the mystical-religious sect which had organized the demonstration.

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