An exiled politician who fled Congo under death threats and gunfire is pleading with Ottawa to allow the repatriation of his seven children as soon as possible, who have been targeted by gunfire.
“Give those children even humanitarian visas,” Michael Maswa, 43, is trying to hold back tears. Can you imagine if our children woke up burned? »
Faced with feelings of helplessness, this father recently decided to tell his story at the zoo, in a small building north of Montreal, to challenge the federal government.
In front of the two, in the living room, a 2-year-old boy is trying to get his attention. He is not yet aware of what his older brothers and sisters are doing across the Atlantic.
On March 9, seven out of eight political fugitive children were targeted by fire in Congo-Kinshasa, where they still live, according to a police report consulted by Le Journal. Fortunately, they were all kept in the utmost secrecy.
“It’s a disaster. It’s not easy,” breathes Felicité, the children’s mother-in-law.
Mr. Maswa is convinced that his children have been spotted and are victims of criminals trying to prey on their relatives.
“I don’t want her to be weak,” he said, rubbing his reddened eyes and pointing to the sweet. What is dearer to children? »
In 2017, he who was previously a senior Congolese official had to leave everything behind, including his wife and children, who were then only between 2 and 14 years old. He traveled through Nigeria and the United States before crossing into Canada.
“I was forced to flee alone. If I had stayed there, I would have died. Someone told me how. I am twisted and fixed on the back,” he said, without being forced.
According to him, “on file” the government for his political views. Shortly after his wife was defeated, he returned to America. The children were then given to relatives.
In 2021, their application for political asylum was accepted.
And since January 2022, they have tried to repatriate their children. But the delay would become unsustainable.
“First, we were told by the administration, we couldn’t do anything about it. And because of this delay we are in this situation. It is not expected to take more than six months,” laments Mr. Maswa.
He hopes that the urgent situation will be able to speed up the process.
“There are children in danger there. We have to find a way, drop him who is now an Uber driver. My fear is what will happen tomorrow. »
Without elaborating on this issue, Immigration Canada states that there is a “significant emotional impact” on the problem of child cases. He suggests that the minister notify him of the incident, which Maswa says is him. He always waited for an answer.
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