Genocide Warning: The Vulnerability of Banyamulenge ‘Invaders’

International Institute of Social Studies
Start date

Thursday, 30 Jan 2020, 13:00

End date

Thursday, 30 Jan 2020, 14:00

International Institute of Social Studies
Spoken Language
Rukumbuzi Delphin Ntanyoma

On 30 January Rukumbuzi Delphin Ntanyoma wil hold a Research in Progress seminar about his ongoing research Genocide Warning: the Vulnerability of Banyamulenge 'Invaders'.

In the Eastern Congo, a little-noticed genocidal threat has been emerging in South Kivu which is in part the legacy of colonial and post-colonial patterns of excluding those known as the Banyamulenge from those defined as ‘authoctonous’ in the region. Instead, defined as ‘immigrants’, the vulnerability of the Banyamulenge is easily denied.

In the past, the Banyamulenge’s involuntary involvement in arned insurgencies alongside Rwandan troops worsened their reputation, as well as radicalizing their Maimai (Mayi-Mayi) opponents. These armed groups have now vowed to wipe out the Banyamulenge community.

The most recent confrontations have involved foreign armed groups from neighboring countries, including Burundians opposition groups. This genocide alert is based on the evidence of a serious intent to destroy villages and kill cattle so Banyamulenge can no longer occupy their few remaining localities and sustain themselves at all in their homeland areas of Minembwe and Bijombo. Local Maimai, armed groups, combine the surrounding Babembe, Banyindu and Bafuliro communities, and are supported militarily and financially by Burundians opposition. Regular and systematic attacks on the Banyamulenge are justified by calling these Congolese citizens ‘invaders’ and accusing them of being outsiders.

Between October 2018 and May 2019, narratives emerged in media and on social media seem to presage a rapid movement towards the real risk of genocide.

About the speaker

Rukumbuzi Delphin Ntanyoma is a PhD candidate within the Erasmus University Rotterdam/Institute of Social Studies (ISS). Part of Development Economics (DEC) programme, his research falls within Economics of Conflict and Peace. His research project focuses on microeconomic analysis of combatants’ motivations to (dis)engage in violent conflict. The field research is North and South-Kivu Provinces; his native region.

From an Economics background and a Masters of Art in Economics of Development, the researcher runs an online blog (The Eastern Congo Tribune that discusses the socioeconomic and political landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Africa Great Lakes Region.

He is author of Behind the Scenes of Banyamulenge Military published by L’Harmattan. 

More information

The Research in Progress seminars provide an informal venue for presentations of ongoing research by ISS scholars (including staff and PhD researchers) and other scholars from the wider development studies community.