Rwanda president Kagame and Congolese President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi

The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused Rwanda of being behind the armed rebels of M23 asking why a foreign country would defend a terrorist group operating in another country.

In a press release dated October 25, 2022, the DRC said it had taken note of the press release issued by the Rwandan Government on Monday October 24, 2022.

“The content of the press release reveals a new and clear irrefutable admission that Rwanda is backing the M23. Why else would a foreign government defend an armed terrorist group operation in another state? How can a national army be denied its legitimate duty to fulfill a constitutional mission of protecting its population and the legal institutions of the republic against terrorists whose only objective is to sow death and despair?” reads the release from DRC.

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The Congolese authorities further questioned the attitude of Rwanda in Congo stating that their interest is to looting of the country’s resources.

“The attitude of the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, sufficiently demonstrates his strategy of permanent interference in the internal affairs of the DRC to maintain climate of terror in the East, thus enabling widespread looting which has been recognized around the world”

The Congolese statement says Rwanda’s position contradicts its commitments made in the various peace processes in Nairobi, Luanda and in New York with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, where all parties agreed to put to an end the armed groups, particularly the M23. The government of the DRC reiterated that there is no public incitement to hatred on the basis of ethnicity as alleged by Rwanda but instead said “The dangerous narrative propagated by Rwanda aims to sow division within our population”.

“If the M23 were truly defenders of a Congolese community, people would not be so displaced nor would so many die because of its barbarity. The government of the DRC categorically denounces the dishonest rhetoric of Rwanda and its military activities on Congolese soil, and reminds the Rwandan government that its interventionist and expansionist ambitions will never be tolerated”.

The Kigali government in an October 24, 2022 press release had accused Congolese President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of not honoring his word on the peace process but instead has pushed for military escalation.

“Contrary to the assertion of the President of DRC that his country is focused on a diplomatic solution to insecurity in Eastern DRC, recent statements and actions show that the DRC government has decided on a course of continued military escalation. Furthermore, FARDC continues to operate alongside irregular armed militias, including FDLR”

Rwanda further accused FARDC’s buildup to renew attacks on M23, a Congolese armed group which they claim was in total violation of the agreed regional security mechanisms.

“Despite continued provocation by DRC authorities and armed forces, Rwanda reiterates its firm commitment to contributing to a sustainable, peaceful regional security solution within the agreed regional frameworks. However, the continual, unjustified attempts to make Rwanda a scapegoat for the internal political problems of DRC will continue to be categorically rejected” reads the Kigali statement in part.

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