Several dozen people took turns at the “Je suis indigent” sit-in at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Brussels Rue Marie de Bourgogne on Thursday between 1:30pm and 4:30pm. The protesters are calling for the 425 bodies found last week in a mass grave in Fula-Fula cemetery in Kinshasa’s Malaku suburb. They also want president Joseph Kabila tried at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
A march has been organised for Saturday at 3:00pm, starting at the Porte de Namur in Ixelles and heading for the European institutions on the Schuman roundabout, via the US embassy and UN offices.
Protesters believe there is a link between three facts – the 400 missing persons recorded by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) following the uprising last January 19th, 20th and 21st (against a constitutional amendment that could allow a third presidential term), the 400 arrests announced by the government and the 425 bodies found in the mass grave.
The president of the Congolese International Council (CIC), Joseph Mbeka, noted that the government had reported 28 deaths, Human Rights Watch 42 deaths and the FIDH 73 deaths for Kinshasa alone, more than double the toll in Goma, and 400 missing persons. “President Kabila claims he buried the deceased, but the families were not informed and there was no ceremony. We want there to be an independent international investigation into this the mass grave”, says Joseph Mbeka.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)