State Minister Prof. Nshuti Manasseh briefed the diplomats about a number of issues including the situation in DRC.
Rwanda says it will not hesitate to retaliate if the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues its provocative attacks that violate Rwanda’s territorial integrity.
While briefing members of the diplomatic corps on current affairs and key events that took place during the past few months on Monday, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Nshuti Manasseh said that Rwanda is closely watching the situation.
Speaking about the situation in the region, particularly the ongoing fighting in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between government forces FARDC and M23, Prof. Nshuti said that Rwanda will not look on if DRC violates Rwanda’s territorial integrity again.
“On 20th October 2022, DRC national army and its allies, including the FDLR, decided to attack M23 positions with long-range artillery similar to the ones used a few months ago to shell Rwandan territory. As we speak, fighting is ongoing in that part of DRC,”
“Our position has been and remains to abide by decisions taken through various mechanisms and initiatives including the Nairobi Conclave, the Luanda process, and the Tripartite meeting with France that took place in September, in New York,” Minister Nshuti said.
“We are closely monitoring the situation along our borders with DRC and we will not hesitate to retaliate if our territorial integrity is deliberately violated again by DRC,” he added.
He pointed out that the security situation had been relatively quiet as the region waited for the deployment of the East African Community (EAC) Joint Regional Force before Kinshasa decided to resume its military activities.
Rwanda maintains that members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continue to operate alongside FARDC, a fact that was recently confirmed by rights watchdog Human Rights Watch.
The Government of Rwanda earlier this week issued a statement condemning DRC’s rhetoric threatening to attack Rwanda and levelling accusations which Kigali deems aggressive.
Rwanda also maintains that a political solution is needed to resolve the root cause of the conflict, mainly revolving around ethnic violence targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in Eastern DRC.
Improved relations with neighbours
Prof. Nshuti told the diplomats that despite the situation with DRC, Rwanda’s relations with other neighbouring countries have improved, particularly with Uganda and Burundi.
“Besides DRC, our relations with other neighbouring countries including Uganda and Burundi are good. The normalisation process of our diplomatic relations with both Kampala and Bujumbura is moving in the right direction,”
He also briefed the envoys assigned to Rwanda about the country’s intervention in Mozambique, pointing out that the security situation has been under control despite sporadic attacks in some parts of the country that are not under the control of the Rwandan joint force.
He revealed that Rwanda troops have also worked together with Rwandan Security SADC forces (SAMMIM) in joint operations to pursue insurgents in their sectors in the northern part of the southern African country.