Rwanda-DRC: relations continue to deteriorate between the two countries of the Great Lakes of Africa

Rwanda-DRC: relations continue to deteriorate between the two countries of the Great Lakes of Africa

Kinshasa has decided to expel the Rwandan ambassador this Saturday. Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said in a statement that Vincent Karega has 48 hours to leave the DRC. Rwanda has once again accused the Congolese army of collaborating with the genocidaires FDLR to destabilize its territory, taking the international community as witness. The Rwandan authorities also say they regret the messages of hatred and incitement to violence against Rwandans and members of Congolese Kinyarwanda-speaking communities living in the DRC. Meanwhile, the M23, a group dominated by Congolese Tutsis supported by Rwanda according to the Congolese authorities, continues to gain new areas. He recovered two other cities this Saturday: Rutshuru-center and Kiwanja in North Kivu. The two cities are located on the RN2, a very strategic axis serving the city of Goma (capital of North Kivu). INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The Congolese authorities speak of Rwanda’s persistence in attacking the DRC. “There has been a massive influx of elements of the Rwandan army in recent days to support the M23 terrorists for a general offensive against the positions of the Congolese armed forces,” Muyaya told national television.

President Tshisekedi, who recently accused Rwanda of supporting the M23, convened an enlarged meeting of the Higher Defense Council on Saturday to assess the situation in eastern Congo. The government spokesman said that the head of state will speak in the coming days.

“In view of the above facts, the Superior Defense Council requests the government to expel, within 48 hours of its notification, Mr. Vincent Karega – Rwandan Ambassador to the DRC, in particular because of his country’s persistence in attacking the DRC. “, announced the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Kiwanja and Rutshuru-Centre, two new towns located 70 km from Goma (capital of North Kivu) fell into the hands of the rebels this Saturday without much resistance from the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo), according to witnesses.

However, four Moroccan peacekeepers were targeted and wounded by bullets, prompting the UN Security Mission (Monusco) to issue a press release to remind that attacks targeting peacekeepers can constitute war crimes. It also promised that it “will spare no effort to prosecute those responsible before national and international courts”, reported RFI correspondent in Kinshasa Patient Ligodi.

During the day of Saturday, military equipment and ammunition recovered in and around Kiwanja were deposited by young people in the Monusco base. About 40 soldiers from the DRC armed forces, among those who had not been able to withdraw from the city earlier, also went to the headquarters of the UN mission, he learned.

Rwanda regrets the expulsion of its ambassador

The Rwandan government learned with regret the Congolese government’s decision to expel its ambassador to Kinshasa, Vincent Karega, spokeswoman Yolande Makolo announced.

In a press release published this Sunday, Rwanda declares that its soldiers are on alert on the border with the DRC.

“We are particularly concerned about the allies between the Congolese armed forces and the FDLR and their attempts to target the border areas with heavy weapons and the bellicose anti-Rwandan rhetoric disseminated by the Congolese authorities”, insists the press release.

According to the same document, Rwanda continues to bring to the attention of the international community the persistence of messages of hatred, the incitement, by the Congolese authorities and the public in general, to violence against Rwandans and Congolese speaking communities Kinyarwanda living in the DRC.

“The integration of the FDLR within the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and their collaboration is directly linked to the increase in violence against Rwandans and Congolese communities speaking Kinyarwanda living in the DRC”, underlines the document that Yolande Makolo, spokesperson for the Rwandan government shared on her Twitter account.

The country of a thousand hills reaffirms its commitment to contribute to a regional solution in the concerted contexts of lasting peace such as that of the Luanda roadmap (Angola) and the Nairobi process (Kenya).

In an interview granted to France 24 and RFI recently, President Félix Tshisekedi indicated that “the FDLR are no more than a residual force reduced to banditry which no longer constitutes a threat for Rwanda”.

false excuse

“It’s a false excuse! Compared to these accusations, I find that Rwanda is in bad faith and that it often uses this pretext to justify its incursions into the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since I have been at the head of my country, we have twice repatriated hundreds of FDLR combatants, it is even a proof of good faith and today the FDLR is a residual force which no longer threatens the security of Rwanda in any case,” he added.

For the Congolese president, “the FDLR are more a problem for us Congolese than for Rwandans, as proof of this is the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC, Mr. Luca Attanasio, who was killed by the FDLR who have today become highway robbers, and who no longer have a political ideology aimed at regaining power in Kigali so it is a false pretext. The truth is elsewhere and it is what Rwanda has to say”.

The M23, March 23 movement which took up arms again at the end of 2021 is a Tutsi rebellion which continues to gain ground while accusing the Congolese authorities of having privileged “the path of violence instead of dialogue”.

He has so far controlled several localities in the province of North Kivu, including the city of Bunagana, on the border with Uganda.

The recent intense fighting which resumed more than a week ago between the Congolese army and this rebel movement has thrown several thousand inhabitants to the roads of exile.

Some had taken refuge in the two cities that fell into the hands of the rebels on Saturday, others having taken the direction of Uganda.

Some analysts believe that the African Union is not making enough effort to find a solution to the crisis in eastern Congo and are asking it to intervene before it is too late.

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