Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights is concern about increasing reports about children and young people as young as 12 years old that are disappearing in Rwanda.
This has been happening for the past two months, particularly in western District of Rubavu. Local parents whose children are missing are concerns that their children might have been forcibly taken in Congo to assist the M23 rebels group. Parents who spoke to us unanimously for safety reasons informed us that on additional to anxiety caused by their children missing they also fearful to go to the Police to report their children missing due to lack of confidence in the authorities willingness to assist and believes that some level of authorities are implicated in their children abductions.
While we were investigating these reports the Congolese government Army showed to the media; members of M23 rebels group that they have captured. Among them included children and young people who confirmed that they were Rwandans and that they have been abducted and brought in Democratic Republic of Congo to assist the rebellion. These children include 12 years old Emmanuel Ntirenganya and 16 years old Claude Rugamba (pictured).
We urge the Rwandan government to do following actions:
- To stop immediately abduction of children from Rwandan streets.
- To liaise with Congolese government in order to ensure quick release of Rwandan children and young people arrested assisting the M23 rebellions.
- To assist parents and relative of children and young people who have missed in their quest to found out where are their children.
- To liaise the M23 rebels group based in Democratic Republic of Congo so that all children and young people assisting them are given the freedom to go back in Rwanda to join their family.
- To ensure parents particularly in the western province that the government will ensure that their children will be risk free from being abducted by rebel groups’ recruiters.
Secretariat – London