DRC: the government accuses Rwanda of illegally sending journalists to Rutshuru

DRC: the government accuses Rwanda of illegally sending journalists to Rutshuru

In an official statement, the Congolese government denounced the irregular presence of pro-Rwanda journalists in the DRC. The Congolese government spokesperson describes these journalists as being Kigali propagandists in the case of the Kishishe massacres. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

In his press release, the Minister of Communication and spokesperson for the Congolese government alerts the public to “a new campaign of lies from Rwanda to truncate the facts on the Kishishe massacre”. The massacre took place recently in the territory of Rutshuru in the province of North Kivu, in the east of the DRC.

“We denounce, with the utmost energy, the irregular presence and the illegal professional exercise on the Congolese soil of certain journalists from propagandist media and communicators on behalf of the rule of Kigali”, says a press release read by Minister Patrick Muyaya.

And he added, “From Bunagana to Kishishe via Bambo (Bwito chiefdom), Murimbi in the groupment of Tongo and Rutshuru-Centre, they (the journalists) were escorted there by M23/RDF services (Rwandan army)”.

Mr. Muyaya says he wants to draw the attention of the national and international community to “a new campaign of lies from Rwanda to truncate the facts, promote false testimonies from the natives and twist the neck of the truth about the Kishishe massacre and others”.

He indicates that his ministry reserves the right to use legal means against all those who will “relay this false campaign of the Kigali regime using false testimonies of populations taken hostage, conditioned for a staging and threatened with death”.

“This Rwando-M23 media collaboration is further proof of the proven and undeniable support of President Paul Kagame’s power for the terrorists who sow insecurity in our country”, he accused.

He announces that his country is determined to initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for international crimes, including the Kishishe and Bambo massacres, to seek justice and obtain reparation.

Kigali has not yet reacted to Kinshasa’s remarks. But recently, the head of the Rwandan diplomacy, Vincent Biruta, affirmed that “the M23 should not be equated with Rwanda. It is not Rwanda’s problem to be solved”, accusing the international community of having “a wrong approach which continues to exacerbate the problem”.

The former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021 accusing Congolese authorities of not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters has continued to demand “an independent investigation” into the Kishishe massacres where authorities Congolese speak of 272 civilians killed, the Monusco (Mission of the United Nations organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo) advancing a toll of 131 dead. The Congolese minister in charge of justice has already brought the case before the ICC (International Criminal Court), Rwanda being charged by the Congolese government in the same way as the rebels.

Burundian and Rwandan journalists who went to Bukavu (capital of the province of South Kivu) on Monday were refused the right to cross the border. They were going to participate in a training organized by Benevolencia, a Dutch NGO which supports the media a lot in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Our colleagues were obliged to do the training in Kamembe (Rwanda) where the Congolese delegation went, according to those concerned. It has not yet been established whether it was following this communication from government spokesman Patrick Muyaya that the immigration services refused them access to the Congolese territory. They only told them that “Benevolencia did not ask for authorization from the ministry in charge of media”.

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