DR Congo Asks Rwanda To Withdraw Its Troops From Congolese Soil

The DR Congo government insists that the Rwandan government is backing the M23 rebel movement causing conflict in North Kivu province.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has called on the Rwandan government to “immediately withdraw its troops under cover of the M23 terrorist group from Congolese soil.”

The Congolese government is also determined to suspend all accords, protocols, and conventions concluded with Rwanda.

The government made these decisions at the end of a meeting of the country’s higher defence council presided over by President Felix Tshisekedi on Wednesday, June 15.

The meeting was enlarged to include the legislature.

During the meeting, the DR Congo government reaffirmed its determination to defend the integrity of its territory. It lamented the Rwandan destabilising attitude, which is a strategy to disturb the peace and serenity of the Congolese populations.

“This attitude constitutes umpteenth aggression and a deliberate violation of the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Moreover, this attitude of Rwanda is part of an announced and programmed strategy to perturb the tranquillity of our peaceful and innocent populations. Accordingly, the Democratic Republic of Congo is determined to defend every centimetre of its territory,” a statement released at the end of the meeting reads.

A year ago, Rwanda and DR Congo signed accords in Goma, North Kivu, based on Rwanda’s refining of Congolese gold by Rwanda and right now, many voices are calling for rescinding the said accords.

Last week, the FARDC had accused Rwanda of having deployed 500 of their soldiers in the eastern DR Congo, an accusation the Rwandan government has rejected just as it continues to insist it is not supporting the M23 rebels.

The M23, predominantly Tutsi rebels, had its headquarters in Bunagana, was defeated by the DR Congo government in 2013 but took up arms again in late 2021.

M23 rebels accused the Congolese authorities of not respecting an accord for the demobilisation and reinserting of its combatants.

There have been demonstrations in several parts of DR Congo calling for breaking diplomatic relations with Rwanda.

 On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, hundreds of persons gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kinshasa demanding the expulsion of the Rwandan ambassador to DR Congo, Vincent Karega, who was recently summoned and severely warned by the Congolese authorities.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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