Home NewsInternational Rwanda Urges UNSC To Reconsider Support To SADC “Belligerent” Forces In DRC

Rwanda Urges UNSC To Reconsider Support To SADC “Belligerent” Forces In DRC

by Vincent Gasana
12:53 pm

The UNSC sitting


No response yet, as far as we know, from the President of the UN Security Council (UNSC), to the government of Rwanda’s note verbale, expressing dismay at the intention of the UN, to provide logistical and operational support, to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, although UN’s actions already seem to be speaking louder than words.

The letter, delivered to the current President of the UNSC, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, though couched in highly diplomatic languages, punctiliously observing all the necessary protocols, is nevertheless unequivocal, in its insistence that such an action by the UN, would be contrary to the organisation’s avowed objectives. 

“The Government of Rwanda has learned with great concern, through the declaration of the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix, that the United Nations (UN) is considering providing logistical and operational support to the Southern Development Community Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC).”

The letter outlines the reasons for Rwanda’s concern, and warns that failure to reconsider its decision, risks becoming part of the coalation that includes armed groups, “negative forces.” 

“The government of Rwanda would like to request the UNSC to avert the escalation of the conflict in Eastern DRC, by not considering the request to provide logistical and operational support to the FARDC-led coalition, which could only feed into more escalation…”

The letter reminds the UNSC that the mandate of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), requires it to work with regional peace initiatives, including the African Union (AU) approved peace keeping forces, which SAMIDRC, is demonstrably not. Rather than give support to SAMIDRC, the letter urges the UNSC to “instead encourage the government of DRC to pursue a peaceful solution within the Nairobi and the Rwanda processes.”

“While the Government of Rwanda would naturally have no issue with the UN providing support to regional forces, if they were genuinely intended to bring peace in Eastern DRC, it wishes to draw the attention of the UNSC that SAMIDRC is not a neutral force in the current crisis. Its mission is to support the Government of DRC’s belligerent posture, which bears the potential for further escalation of the conflict and increased tensions in the region.”

The letter notes that like the DRC government, in a repeat of the approach it took in 2013, the South African force, ignores the many armed groups in the DRC, currently over 260 of them, and focuses only on the rebel M23, which in 2013 went under CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People).

“While there are more than 260 armed groups in the eastern DRC, SADC forces, like in 2013, are selectively supporting the DRC armed forces (FRDC) in the fight against M23 rebels, along with Burundian Forces (FDNB), European mercenaries, Rwanda genocidal forces (FDLR and its splinter groups) and a host of ideologically and ethnically charged local armed groups known as Wazalendo.”

“These Wazalendo groups include the notorious Congolese Hutu militia coalition of Movements for Change (CMC-Nyatura) whose creation was inspired and facilitated by the FDLR. They have vowed to cleanse the eastern DRC of Congolese Tutsi, whom they consider as Rwandans, and they are involved in horrible scenes of ethnic killings reminiscent of events that preceded the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi, in Rwanda. SAMIDRC has been conducting joint operations with these negative groups against M23, in support of the Government of DRC’s resolve to pursue a military solution, in violation of the recommendations of both the EAC-led Nairobi Process and Angola-led Luanda initiative.”

Most damning of all perhaps, the letter draws attention to the fact that SAMIDRC, is in support of groups that the UN itself has acknowledged to be genocidal, and by supporting SAMIDRC, the UN would be supporting these genocidal forces.

“In her statements dated 30th November 2022 and 24th January 2023 respectively, the United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, indicated to have received ‘alarming reports on multiple attacks against civilians along ethnic lines in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces, in eastern DRC.’ She warned that ‘the conditions necessary for the commission of atrocity crimes continue to be present in a region where a genocide happened in 1994.’”

“In her statement of 24th January 2023, the Special Adviser recalled her visit to the DRC in 2022, as well as the technical-level mission by her office in the same year, which established that ‘indicators and triggers contained in the UN framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes are present in DRC, including: dissemination of hate speech and absence of independent mechanisms to address it; politicisation of identity; proliferation of local militias and other armed groups across the country; widespread and systematic attacks, including sexual violence.’”

“The Government of Rwanda wishes to bring to the attention of the UNSC that this violence is particularly directed against Congolese Tutsi, including the Banyamulenge, in South Kivu and Hema in Ituri, as reported by the UN Group of Experts on DRC, and the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide…”

The letter assures the UNSC, that Rwanda was ready to play its part, in the search for peace, but that in view of the Governments of the DRC and Burundi’s stated aim of overthrowing the Government of Rwanda, the country would remain alert, taking the necessary defensive measures. 

“The Government of Rwanda is willing and ready to play its role in supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the eastern DRC. In the meantime, the Government of Rwanda will continue to undertake preventive and defensive measures against the declared intention of the presidents of DRC and Burundi to remove the Government of Rwanda and the threat posed by the Rwandan genocidal forces operating in the eastern DRC.”  

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