Today, Rwandans woke up to news from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), that two Rwanda Defence Force(RDF) soldiers were arrested while on frontline supporting M23, a rebel group in fight against DRC’s army in Runyoni and Cyanzu localities.
DRC mentioned the names of the allegedly RDF soldiers including Adjutant Jean Baptiste Habyarimana and Private Uwajeneza Muhindi John a.k.a Zaje.
The communique was issued by FARDC ‘s Brigadier General Gen Sylvain Ekenge Bomusa, the spokesperson of Northern Kivu Governor.
Through the governor of Rwanda’s Western Province which shares the border with North Kivu Francois Habitegeko, Rwanda refutes the allegation and explains that DRC is just pretending.
“We would like to categorically refute the baseless accusations and state that RDF is not by any means involved in the belligerent activities across in DRC,” reads part of the communique.
“The two names were mentioned by the Congolese Military and Intelligence Delegation during Rwanda-DRC Bilateral Meeting of the Joint Intelligence Teams held on February 25, 2022 in Kigali. The Joint Intelligence Teams were not subsequently allowed to interrogate these individuals for a Joint Assessment, as is the practice.”
Rwanda further responds that RDF has not any member with the names that were presented in FARDC statement.
“This is an attempt to manipulate the opinion by presenting two individuals arrested under obscure circumstances more than one month ago as elements captured in the fighting on March 28, 2022,” part of the communique further reads.
Rwanda reminds that both countries have verification mechanisms under the ICGLR and at bilateral level to verify such allegation, and DRC should activated them if they were acting in good faith.
“We call upon EJVM and JIT to investigate those absurd these absurd accusations against RDF,” the communique reads.
“The GoR has consistently offered its cooperation for the repatriation of Congolese ex-combatants who were disarmed and contained. The GoR should not bear the responsibility of the failure of GoDRC to conclude the process harmoniously.”