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DRC Wants External Force to Fight Its Own People – Kagame

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
10:06 pm

President Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame has criticized the leadership of Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) on shortfalls in management of the crisis in the country which is fighting rebel groups including its own people.

Since March 2022, the Movement of March 23, commonly known to its abbreviation M23, one of dozens of armed groups from DRC launched an offensive on North Kivu and within a couple of months, it captured several regions of the province.

Defending the right of Kinyarwanda speaking community of DRC who have been facing several prosecution from their motherland, M23 pushed hard until the government army-FARDC failed to stop their advance in Kivu.

DRC invested in speculations and scapegoating, suggesting that there was someone very strong supporting the rebel movement and thus pointed a finger to their neighbor, Rwanda.

Rwanda denies this perpetuated allegation and reminds that despite causing security challenges to its territory, the conflict is first of all a responsibility of the congolese nationals to solve.

Felix Tshisekedi

In an interview with Africa Report this week, President Kagame first explained events that are affecting mediation efforts that were started several months ago to restore good bilateral relations and find a peaceful end to the conflict.

The President said that the East African Community(EAC) has been part of the process of finding solutions by sending a regional force to DRC, but President Felix Tshisekedi expelled them.

“When the East African regional force wasn’t serving the purpose of Tshisekedi, fighting for him against M23 and fighting Rwanda [who is accused of supporting M23], he expelled the East African regional force. Before he expelled them, he
was already working within SADC, trying to send a force to come and to do what he had wanted the East African regional force to do,” Kagame said.

 

Tshisekedi confronts the EACRF Commander Gen. Nyagah as President Ruto looks on.

In this conflict, President Tshisekedi integrated in DRC army some terrorist groups, including the self proclaimed Democratic Force for the Liberation of Rwanda(FDLR), which is made of elements responsible of the 1994 Genocide committed against Tutsi.

Rwanda government expressed a concern that this as a big threat to the security in the region, and to its territory in particular.

Meanwhile, a mediation path between Rwanda and DRC started with Angola’s President Lourenco, but President Tshisekedi, towards his electoral campaign last year, started uttering words that sabotage the process.

He set his conditions to meet Rwanda’s President and said, that Rwanda should first withdraw its troops from DRC and then contain M23.

President Kagame finds this not a good approach that would lead to results.

“You don’t want to have discussions and then start by laying down your conditions. It’s the wrong way to go about it. But I think sometimes people are playing to the gallery, posturing in the media and so forth. I don’t know what that gives us. It only confuses the problem and makes it harder,” Kagame said.

The president said, that Rwanda could also set conditions for Tshisekedi to work on them. Giving an example, the president said: “I could easily say I want to preserve security until he reverses his statements about “attacking” Rwanda and “carrying out regime change” in Rwanda, as he has publicly talked about. I would also say that unless the FDLR is
removed from Congo, I don’t want to talk to president Tshisekedi.”

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