Rwanda-DRC: the international community pays lip service to peace (Paul Kagame)

Rwanda-DRC: the international community pays lip service to peace (Paul Kagame)

For the first time, the Rwandan President Paul Kagame took a lot of time talking about a situation outside his country and speaking in English while addressing Rwandans mainly. He affirmed that “the FDLR genocidaires have become an auxiliary militia of the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo)” speaking of an “unacceptable” situation. for Rwanda. In his 2023 New Year’s message delivered on Saturday, December 31, the Rwandan President accused part of the international community that continues to “pamper the Congolese leaders” though it failed to find solutions to the prevailing insecurity in the eastern Congo, even after spending billions of dollars. According to him, the international community pays tribute to the peace in dribs and drabs. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

To properly convey his message to members of the international community who accuse his country of supporting the M23, Head of State Paul Kagame spoke in the language of Shakespeare for a large part of his speech.

“It’s disappointing that the international community pays lip service to peace and actually ends up complicating matters, which undermines regional processes,” he said calmly.

And to further charge “after spending tens of billions of dollars on peacekeeping over the past two decades, the security situation in eastern Congo is worse than ever. To explain this failure, some in the international community blame Rwanda, even though they know very well that the responsibility lies primarily with the Congolese government, as well as with these external actors who refuse to address the root cause of the problem – nowhere else”.

For President Kagame, this is an “very expensive lie, which makes no logical sense”.

Embolden Congolese leaders to protect interests

For the Rwandan head of state, the international community continues to spoil the Congolese leaders to “protect its interests”.

“They speak the truth only in whispers, afraid to displease the Congolese government, and compromise their own interests, …..hurting their own people,” he added.

“Even though the United Nations Group of Experts documents the collaboration between the Congolese army and the FDLR, and other militias, not to mention the alarming rise in hate speech, these items are virtually ignored as if they are of no consequences” Kagame hammered.

For Mr. Kagame, this attitude is shocking but not surprising.

“We’ve had enough of this hypocrisy,” he insisted.

“It is high time that the unwarranted verification of Rwanda stopped”, revolted President Kagame.

Rwanda affected by the situation in Eastern Congo

For Paul Kagame, his country is affected by the situation prevailing in the east of the vast country of central Africa, his neighbour.

“Of course we are directly affected when the remnants of the militias that committed the genocide in Rwanda become auxiliary forces of the DRC army and conduct attacks accross our border,” he explained.

And to continue in a calm tone “No country can accept this. Rwanda will never accept this as normal and will always respond appropriately because our security and stability are paramount”, recalling that there is more than one hundred armed groups active in eastern Congo, including Rwandan genocidal militias such as the FDLR.

“These groups create constant insecurity for civilians in the DRC and Rwanda. The reason this situation prevails is because DRC is unwilling or unable to govern its territory”, assumed Paul Kagame.

“Should Rwanda be the one to bear the dysfunction of this immense country?” he wondered.

Without naming their community, he deplored the situation of Congolese refugees denied of their fundamental right to have nationality by their own country. He speaks of “case in point”.

It’s not just a question of “hate speech but of active persecution over decades,” he said.

Mr. Kagame informed that Rwanda is among the countries of the East African community which have hosted hundreds of thousands of Congolese refugees.

“We have more than 70,000 registered in Rwanda alone. And new refugees continue to arrive even now,” he said.

“Yet the international community effectively pretends that these people do not exist….The policy seems to be for them to remain in Rwanda indefinitely, which only serves to whitewash the lie that they are normally Rwandans who deserved to be expelled. This is an international problem and it requires an international solution”, attacked the Rwandan president.

“Rwanda will not accept to bear the burden for the DRC’s responsibilities. We have enough burdens of our own to bear”, he concluded.

The Congolese authorities have not yet reacted to the remarks of the president of the country of a thousand hills.

But last Tuesday they presented two Rwandan nationals working for the African Health Development Organization to the media accusing them of being “spies” who were planning to “shoot down a plane carrying Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi”.

Relations between the two countries of the Great Lakes of Africa have continued to deteriorate since the resurgence of the March 23 movement, the M23.

The former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021 accusing the Congolese authorities of not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters is made up of Congolese Tutsis.

The Congolese authorities remain convinced that it benefits the support of Rwanda, which the Rwandan government continues to rule out.

After having recovered several localities in the province of North Kivu in the east of the DRC including Bunagana, the border city with Uganda, and threatening to take the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu since mid June, the M23 rebels ceded their positions in Kibumba (Nyiragongo territory) to the regional EAC force on December 23, 2022.

The Congolese government recently accused him of having massacred 272 civilians in two villages under its occupation, with the UN putting the death toll at 130.

The M23 denied these allegations calling them “propaganda” aimed at “discrediting us with the population” and called for an independent and impartial investigation.

And Rwanda has always accused the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) of “collaborating with the genocidal FDLR” with as aim the “destabilization of its territory”.

But the Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, who on several occasions accused his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame to “support the rebels”, believes that “the FDLR is no longer a threat to Rwanda” designating them as “a residual force reduced to banditry”.

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