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Rwanda Says DRC Provocations “Unacceptable”

by Edmund Kagire
5:58 am

Government Spokesperson Yolande Makolo said Rwanda will not accept continued provocations from DRC.

Rwanda says the continued provocations by the Government and forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are unacceptable and go against the agreed roadmap of finding a peaceful resolution to the escalating conflict in the eastern part of the country.

The Government Spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, in a statement issued on Monday evening, said DRC authorities and government forces FARDC, have continued their provocations targeting Rwanda, following the recent renewed fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels.

In recent weeks DRC officials, including President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, have continued the campaign targeting Rwanda, which they accuse of supporting the M23 rebels, who hold parts of the eastern part of the country following renewed fighting and violence targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the vast nation.

Makolo said DRC authorities continue to make Rwanda a scapegoat of its problems while violating agreed process to resolve the issues that lead to the upsurge in violence, including eliminating armed groups such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which pose a threat to regional security.

“Contrary to the assertions at the President of DRC that his country is focused on a diplomatic solution to the insecurity in eastern DRC, recent statements and actions show that the DRC Government is decided on a course of continued military escalation. furthermore, FARDC continues to operate alongside irregular armed militias including FDLR,” the statement reads.

“FARDC’s buildup to renew attacks on M23, a Congolese armed group, is in violation of the agreed regional security mechanisms including the Nairobi and Luanda processes. Continued public incitement on the basis of ethnicity, use of heavy weaponry, targeting of Rwanda’s border zone, and baseless accusations against Rwanda are unacceptable,” it adds.

The Rwandan government said that despite continued provocations by DRC authorities and armed forces, it 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.” it concludes.

The Rwanda government statement followed recent inflammatory statements by DRC officials, including Tshisekedi, who said that he cannot rule out attacking Rwanda, in different interviews.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed that the DRC government forces FARDC operate with FDLR elements within their ranks, despite the DRC government denying. Rwanda maintains that regional security cannot be achieved if the armed groups are not dealt with and grievances of the likes of M23 are not addressed.

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