Rwanda says it reinforced security along her borders further to avert any imminent external threats and violations in the wake of recent incidents emanating from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A statement issued by the Government of Rwanda on Monday hailed the outcomes of the recent meetings held during the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, on the situation in Eastern DRC, expressing hope in the roadmap, as the implementation of the decisions of the Nairobi and Luanda processes commences.
“Rwanda has confidence in the role of East Africa Community Regional Force in supervising ongoing actions, including the withdrawal of M23. The international community’s support for the regional processes is welcome and useful, including statements from the United Nations Secretary General, the European Union, and the United States,”
Rwanda however expressed disappointment that the U.S consistently reinforces the position of Kinshasa, which dwells on blaming Rwanda for a situation that is solely the making of the government of DRC.
“It is positive that the U.S. statement on 22 February 2023 echoes the regional decisions related to hate speech and ethnic violence, the return of refugees, and the disarming and repatriation of the FDLR,” the statement issued by the office of the government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, reads.
“However, the United States appears consistently out of step with the decisions of the regional processes, and risks undermining them, by continuing to endorse the DRC Government’s false narrative blaming Rwanda for the crisis,” it adds.
Rwanda says that the repeated failure by the international community to condemn the DRC Government for the preservation of the FDLR encourages DRC to continue arming and fighting alongside the genocidal militia, which has conducted cross-border attacks in Rwanda while embedded with the Congolese army (FARDC).
Kigali further says that the alliance between DRC and FDLR constitutes a direct and serious threat to Rwanda’s security. Rwanda further dismissed the argument that the FDLR is a benign or inconsequential force, which is advanced by some individuals and country, pointing out that ultimate goal of its partnership with FARDC is to attack Rwanda.
Defensive mechanisms in place
Similarly, Rwanda says the purpose of unchecked hate speech and public incitement against Tutsi in DRC is to mobilize the population for future atrocities and ethnic cleansing, in the dangerous context of electoral competition.
“At the same time, DRC has opted for continued military escalation in recent months, in defiance of regional decisions. In the context of increasingly bellicose statements by DRC civilian and military leaders, the DRC is deploying new hardware capabilities and foreign mercenaries in the common border area,”.
“Given Rwanda’s legitimate security concerns, defensive and preventive mechanisms have accordingly been reinforced to guard against violations of our airspace and borders,”
“These contingencies are ready to act to prevent any cross-border threat, proportionately to its magnitude, origin, and nature. We will not allow any spill-over into Rwanda from any armed group, and total security for our territory and our people will be ensured,” the statement adds.
Rwanda commended regional leaders for their efforts to find a sustainable solution to insecurity in the region, including the decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council to use the African Union Peace Fund to support the East African Community Regional Force.
Rwanda has always worked within regional frameworks to contribute to stability in our region. But we cannot accept for Rwanda’s security concerns to be trivialized and ignored.