Local group calls attention to plight of Congolese minority

Protesters in downtown Jacksonville call attention to the plight of the Banyamulenge people.
Protesters in downtown Jacksonville call attention to the plight of the Banyamulenge people. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you were having lunch downtown on Friday, you may have seen demonstrators outside City Hall.

The group, called the Mahoro Peace Association, was protesting the ethnic cleansing of the Banyamulenge community in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Group members told News4Jax this ethnic cleansing of their people by local and international militia groups, as well as the government, has been going on for years.

“They’re being kicked out of their homes, our kids have nowhere to sleep, our women are being raped, being killed for no reason. We are just asking for the nation to help us, to hear us.” Solange Ngadire, from Mahoro Peace Association, said.

According to Genocide Watch, militia groups have targeted the Banyamulenge community, part of a territorial dispute.

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The MPA assisted more than 200 hundred senior high school students by paying their final exam fees required to do their state exam. Beneficiaries of the financial package are students from different communities living in Mikenke and Minembwe areas whose lives have been negatively impacted by ongoing war.