Rwandans in DRC held hostage, tortured
On Wednesday, 11 Rwandan nationals were handed over to local Immigration authorities in Rubavu district after being tortured by armed forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
They bore grave bruises as a result of severe physical torture and said they were arrested and denied food for several days.
One of the victims, Faustin Twagiramungu, 21, told the press on Wednesday that he was arrested in Goma one month ago after being accused of defecting from the Rwandan army.
“I had gone shopping when I was rounded up. I found others already in custody over the same accusations,” he said.
Twagiramungu added that he was tortured and denied food as his captors demanded for "intelligence information” about the Rwandan government.
Alphonse Munyurangabo, an official from Rwanda’s Immigration department said that the victims were held hostage for varying periods. "The Congolese claim the victims did not have identification documents yet our records show that they were registered as Rwandans and had identification,” Munyurangabo said.
He added that usually, Rwandans found in Goma with no identification documents were handed over to immigration officials, but with no traces of harassment or torture.
“There is clear indication that they have been tortured for a number of days,” Munyurangabo noted adding that most of the victims are Rwandan nationals living in Goma or business people work visits.
The Immigration Department has requested for explanations from their Congolese counterparts.
Munyurangabo said that the most immediate concern is providing health care to the victims.
Contact email: sam.nkurunziza[at]newtimes.co.rw