Rwanda is not taking seriously calls by the Former Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and opposition member Adolphe Muzito Fumutshi to wage war against Rwanda in a bid to create peace in the eastern part of the mineral rich country.
Muzito, during a press conference in Kinshasa on Monday, proposed that DRC might need to start a war with Rwanda, and possibly annex the country in order to fully restore lasting peace.
“We need to wage a war in Rwanda to revive serenity in our community. Rwanda impacts Congolese politics, same as Uganda. We can make peace by threatening Rwanda and occupying parts of its territory and annex it,” Muzito, who was Premier from 2007 to 2012 said.
The war mongering by the politician, who is currently the head of the opposition coalition Lamuka, has been denounced in the strongest terms by fellow opposition and coalition members Jean Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi.
Rwanda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe took to Twitter to laugh off the pronouncements by the Congolese politician, stating that reason has eluded the former Premier.
“The day @adolphemuzito will restore peace with an entity named “REASON” and the day reason will occupy a territory named “BRAIN”, it will be a great feat!” Nduhungirehe said on Twitter in French.
Reacting to other opposition members denouncing Muzito, Amb. Nduhungirehe said that what is more revealing is the opposition figurehead and former Presidential contender Martin Fayulu not distancing himself from Muzito’s provocative remarks.
“The silence of @MartinFayulu is already deafening. Any inaction on his part will only confirm his propensity for conspiracy theories in the region and for his primary anti-Rwanda stance,” Nduhungirehe observed.
In a statement, Bemba and Katumbi publicly disassociated themselves from Muzito’s proposal of armed attacks against the sovereign nation of Rwanda, highlighting that they only learned of it through the media and was not discussed by the coalition.
“We learned with surprise – through broadcasts, remarks made, this Monday, December 23, 2019, in Kinshasa, by the former Prime Minister ADOLPHE MUZITO, supporting the treacherous theory alleging that to restore peace in the East of DR CONGO, our country should wage a war against RWANDA and annex it to the DRC, ” the two leaders wrote in a statement.
Mr Bemba and Mr Katumbi said they reject in strong terms the proposal which they say is not the position of the coalition which aspires for peace and respect of international and bilateral agreements binding the two countries.
“We strongly disassociate ourselves from these remarks, which would reflect lack of seriousness on our part. We would like to remind all that in light with international law and bilateral agreements with our neighbouring country, such an approach can certainly not receive approval by our forces or the international community”, they explained.
The coalition, which also have Mr Fayulu, who until now claims to be the President-elect of DRC, reminded Muzito that their mission is to comply with international treaties and conventions and starting a war against Rwanda would go against the same values they stand for.
“Also, we remind the coordinator of the LAMUKA platform that the fight in which we are engaged consecrates respect for national laws and international regulations. In no way, and for whatever reasons, would we be inclined towards engaging in, or support actions that break these laws,” the duo said.
Bemba and Katumbi urged Muzito to retract his war mongering words which compromise their position as a peace and democracy loving opposition coalition which fights for the rule of law in DRC and for the good of the region.
Muzito’s remarks come at the time when Rwanda and DRC are experiencing the highest point of flourishing bilateral relations this decade, with President Félix Tshisekedi and President Paul Kagame firmly stating their position to work together to restore peace in the great lakes region.
Having taken office in January this year, President Tshisekedi has proved to be a change maker, going after armed groups operating in the eastern part of the country, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Conseil National pour la Renaissance et la Démocratie (CNRD) and RUD-Urunana, among others.
Top leaders of the groups have been killed in operations while thousands of militias have been captured and repatriated to Rwanda. Over the weekend, Rwanda received about 1, 400 dependants of the militias and 71 FDLR fighters. A week ago, another 291 militias mainly members of CNRD were repatriated to Rwanda.
President Tshisekedi, who has been to Rwanda a couple of times and meets President Kagame at different fora since taking office is also among the facilitators of the Rwanda-Uganda reconciliation process.