Home NewsNational DRC Crisis: President Kagame, UN Secretary General Guterres Discuss Worrying Situation

DRC Crisis: President Kagame, UN Secretary General Guterres Discuss Worrying Situation

by Edmund Kagire
12:48 am

President Kagame and UNSG Guterres discussed the deteriorating situation in Eastern DRC.

President Paul Kagame and the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres , on Tuesday,  had a conversation on the escalating conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), during which the Head of State emphasized the need for a political solution to the longstanding conflict.

“President Kagame had a productive phone conversation with UNSG António Guterres on the worrying escalation of armed violence and ethnic rhetoric in Eastern DRC,” the Office of the President said.

“President Kagame reiterated his view that the solution is not a military one but a political one. The President and UNSG  António Guterres  discussed continued strong collaboration towards peace and stability in DRC through ongoing regional efforts,” Urugwiro Village posted.

Earlier this week on Monday, President Kagame had a similar phone call during which he emphasized support for regional efforts, including Luanda and Nairobi processes, to quell the conflict that has claimed lives of many and displaced hundreds of thousands.

The two leaders discussed the deterioration of the security situation in Eastern DRC, as well as the need for de-escalate hostilities and a political resolution to the conflict, rather than a military solution, which has not delivered results in more than two decades.

Speaking at the recently concluded  Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from November 4 -5, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta reiterated Rwanda’s position, urging the DRC government to deal with its internal governance problems which are the cause for conflict.

Minister Biruta said that Kinshasa has made it a habit to lament about Rwanda in international forums but that is just a scapegoat for DRC’s internal governance failures which have made the central African country a playground for armed groups.

Dr. Biruta was responding to earlier accusation by Crispin Mbadu, DRC Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Francophonie, who was calling on the summit to condemn Rwanda for its alleged support for M23 rebels.

In his submission, Minister Biruta deplored the unfounded accusations fronted by the DRC representative of the DRC, pointing out that it has now become commonplace for the DRC government to level all sorts of accusations on Rwanda, ignoring its own internal failures.

“The government of DRC has got into the habit of accusing Rwanda in international forums for its own governance failures the years  which characterizes his {Mbadu] country, which has decided to externalize its internal problems and chosen Rwanda as the scapegoat to be blamed for everything that goes wrong,” Dr. Biruta said.

“The representative [of the DR Congo government] forgot to tell you that there are more than 200 armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including genocidal armed groups like the FDLR.”

Minister Biruta said that the gross governance problems have not only led to conflict but also discrimination against certain communities in Eastern DRC, leading to ethnic cleansing and ethnic hate which is ongoing but the DRC government representative failed to speak about them.

Rwanda maintains that all efforts to de-escalate tensions in DRC should focus on solving the historical issues that have made the conflict recur, including removing all armed groups, including the FDLR, and ending the historical ethnic hate and targeting of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, which in the first place led to the emergency of groups such as M23.

Kigali also says these issues, which Kinshasa has failed to address for decades, created a refugee problem for Rwanda, with over 90, 000 Congolese refugees stuck in refugee camps in Rwanda.

Rwanda also accuses DRC of backing the FDLR militia, which is operating in cahoots with the Congolese government army FARDC, and other armed groups such as Nyatura, PARECO, Mai Mai and the so-called Wazalendo coalition, to unless ethnic violence against Rwandophones in North Kivu Province.

Kigali also accuses DRC of engaging in provocative acts, including several cross-border attacks and skirmishes as well as the government mobilizing citizens to aggress Rwanda and Rwandans.



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