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DR Congo officials harass Nigerian Diplomats, burgle Embassy

A diplomatic row is brewing between Nigeria and Dem­ocratic Republic of Congo, following harassment of Ni­gerian diplomats, burgling of the Nigerian Embassy in Kinshasa by a police officer deployed to the Mission and the illegal seizure of a Nige­rian diplomat’s property in the choice area of Gombe, Kinshasa, DR Congo.

The burgling of the em­bassy and the seizure of the Nigerian diplomat’s property, Daily Independent gathered, were carried out by officials of DR Congo, even as the gov­ernment of the host country turned blind eyes to the atroc­ities.

This development is com­ing only two weeks after a Nigerian diplomat was bru­talised by Indonesian Immi­gration officials in Jakarta.

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All attempts by the Nige­rian ambassador to the DR Congo, Ambassador (Engr) Omar Suleiman, to get the au­thorities of the host country to investigate the desecration of the embassy and return the seized property have been re­buffed by the government of that country, a source in the Nigerian embassy said.

“In March 2020, there was an attempt to set the ambas­sador’s residence ablaze in the middle of the night. The culprit was apprehended and handed over to the police, but to date, nothing has come out from the police concerning the young man that was ar­rested or the event.

“On 17th August 2020, the embassy was burgled by one Ilunga Ndaye, the policeman deployed to guard the Chan­cery. The culprit was appre­hended and handed over to the police. On arrival at the police station, he was freed by the police. The authorities claimed that he escaped and till date, nothing has been said about him or the incident.

“On 24th August 2020, one Congolese named Kadija Ba­kaja, accompanied by armed policemen invaded 38/40 Avenue Lemera in Gombe, Kinshasa DR Congo. With the active connivance of the government of DR Congo, she illegally took over the property which is duly owned by Nigeria and she is still, till this moment, one year after the invasion of the Nigerian property and the denigration of our sovereign integrity without any form of legal right of occupation.

“Until date, the DR Con­go government has neither returned the property they took over illegally nor taken steps to assure Mission that its properties in the country are safe from any future ha­rassments and invasions. It is important to note that if immediate action is therefore not taken at this time, the Ni­gerian government stand to lose another of its property to another Congolese,” an of­ficial at the Nigerian embassy said.

“We have been facing a lot of harassments and dif­ficulties in performing our tasks here. It is exactly one year since the embassy was burgled on 17th August 2021 by officials of DR Congo. It is also one year since some land grabbers who have official backing of the government of the host country invaded one of our diplomatic facilities in Gombe, Kinshasa DR Congo.

“There was also threat to the life of our then Head of Mission, Amb. Charles Nkem Ibim, and the Consular Offi­cer, Mr. Kareem, by the land grabbers for daring to stop them. Interestingly, the gov­ernment of DR Congo has not deemed it fit to investigate any of these atrocities. Maybe they are waiting for another Jakarta episode in the DRC?” another official, who does not want his name in print for fear of reprisal by the host country, said.

“This disrespect and lack of courtesy has also been extended to Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the DRC, where many innocent Nigerians are facing similar embarrassments from some government agencies.”

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