Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DR Congo: Kabila attempts to turn Goma dry.

New Times ( Rwanda ) reports

DRC clashes leave traders counting losses

                                                                       Rwandan Traders

More and more Rwandan small traders are either afraid of travelling to Goma or bribe Congolese security officials to take their goods across the border as relations between Rwanda and the DRC grow frosty following allegations that Kigali supports M23 rebels.
Fighting between the rebels and the Congolese army resumed in the middle of last month before relatively calming down again.
Rwandan small traders say that border police in the DRC are harsher and more corrupt, taking advantage of the current diplomatic climate between the two countries.
It is easy to get pissed of with the Rwandan Government for the mayhem they have sponsored In the Eastern DR Congo but taking it out on the Traders of Rwanda is bloody stupid. Free and fair trade is part of is part of the solution to the problem.   
Business affected
Emerthe Nyirakabanza, 63, is one of the people whose daily job is to carry beer from Rwanda and she is paid per quantity transported.
She said that since the war in the DRC started again in mid last month, her and other small traders are not earning as much money as they used to do before the new clashes.
“We are not doing our business well, we are scared, at any time we hear bombs and are not allowed to cross the border,” she said.
“I live on transportation of beers from Rubavu to neighboring Goma. I used to cross the border many times a day and earnings were huge, but look at me now, I am sitting as if there is no demand, I have gone to Goma only five times while I used to go there more than 10 times until midday,” she said.
When she carries 36 bottles of Mutzing across the border, Nyirakabanza said that she earns $3 (around Rwf 1900).
“But now as we can’t  go far from the border because we fear to be killed or kidnapped, we are only paid around Rwf 900, a third of which we have to use to corrupt the police in the DRC,” she said.  “I used to go there more than 20 times a day but now I go there less than 10 times.”
I am not sure why anyone would object to an increase in beer supply or why anyone would want to murder a trader in the product. Border cops on the take is no surprise though and it would seem to be counter productive for them to strangle the trade.
Another woman who sells vegetables said that her business was worsened by the violations in the DRC.
“Most of my clients live in Goma. They always ask me to go there but I can’t. I instead ask them to come to the border so we can exchange the goods and that means that the prices for my products are reduced. Sometimes they don’t show up and I have to go back home with my vegetables,” she said.
Another woman who only identified herself as Shamsi said that the war in the DRC was not only affecting political affairs but also their social and economic lives.
“We are going to look for other ways rather than continuing to depend on the Goma market which is being ravaged by wars,” she said.
Congolese traders are equally worried about the security situation back home.
“We are Congolese citizens but we are worried by continuous wars where innocent people are losing lives and others are traumatised. This is affecting our wellbeing and our security and business are being worsened in both Rwanda and Goma,” said a Congolese driver who only identified himself as Pascal.

This is a loose loose situation. Kinshasa can not provide security of any form for the people of Goma, but allowing and I suspect encouraging this tom foolery on the part of the border police is insane. If the government can't provide economic opportunities at least don't deny them. People need to eat.
Rwandan officials warn against unnecessary trips to Congo
Amid reports of violations of human rights for Rwandans travelling to the DRC, with Rwandan officials reporting last Friday that some 60 Rwandans were illegally under custody in the DRC while many others were unfairly harassed, the Mayor of Rubavu District has advised against unnecessary travels to Congo.
“I would suggest that Rwandans better reduce or stop going to the DRC because there is nothing special they get from there,” Mayor Sheikh Hassan Bahame told journalists on Wednesday.

The problem is that know one doubts that Rwanda is attempting to infiltrate spies into Goma in an attempt to prolong the instability but I find the idea that middle aged and old women selling vegetables and beer are in this category laughable. 
The Rwandan government has dismissed allegations that it helps M23 rebels and has warned against reports that the Congolese army is collaborating with the FDLR, a militia blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

No comments:

Post a Comment