A three-day national mourning began Saturday in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the alleged massacre of civilians in the east of the country for which the government now evokes a balance sheet of “more than a hundred” dead.
The DRC army and authorities on Thursday accused M23 rebels of having “cowardly murdered” at least 50 civilians two days earlier in Kishishe, a village in Rutshuru territory about 70 km north of Goma, The M23 denied being the author of this killing, the toll of which is difficult to establish from an independent source due to lack of access to this area under rebel control.
During the Council of Ministers held on Friday, “the President of the Republic denounced in the strongest terms the massacre against more than a hundred compatriots in Kishishe, victims of barbarism” of the M23, according to the account made read in the evening by the Minister of Communication and government spokesman Patrick Muyaya.
“In their memory”, President Félix Tshisekedi, “has instructed the government to decree three days of national mourning to be observed from this Saturday, December 3”, he continued, specifying that the flags would be lowered to half-mast on the whole territory during this period.
The mourning will end on Monday with the organization of a “telethon” intended to raise funds for “the humanitarian response” to be provided to the victims of the violence in the east of the country, added the spokesman.
Since news broke of the massacre, calls for an independent investigation has grown. During the same Council of Ministers, the President “asked the Minister of Justice to open an investigation at the internal level without delay and at the same time to work in favour of an international investigation to shed light on this crime of war,” the spokesperson said.