Rwanda Vows To Respond To DR Congo Attacks

Tension continues to grow between DR Congo and Rwanda as the two countries trade blames over the activities of rebel groups.

Rwanda says it will respond appropriately in case of an attack on its territory from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Vincent Biruta, the country’s Foreign Minister, declared on Tuesday, May 31, as tension continues to rise at the border between the two countries.

While DR Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebel movement against the Congolese government, Rwanda says the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) based in eastern DR Congo abducted two of its soldiers during an incursion into its territory.

The Rwandan government, which has rejected accusations of supporting the M23, faulted the Congolese authorities for protecting the FDLR rebels, which the Kinshasa authorities, on the contrary, said they were fighting against.

“If the attacks continue, Rwanda will have the right to respond, and we can respond,” the Rwandan Foreign Minister said during a press conference in Kigali.

“We don’t want war, we want peace, but as a government, we have to protect the lives of Rwandans.”

The FDLR is a rebel group of Hutu refugees in DR Congo created in 2000 during the second Congolese war of 1998-2003. Some of its founders participated in the genocide perpetrated by Hutus in Rwanda in 1994.

Its leader, Sylvestre Mudacumura, was killed in North Kivu in Sept. 2019.

Since the end of the second Congolese war, Kinshasa has regularly accused Rwanda of supporting rebel groups dominated by Tutsis in eastern DR Congo. Rwanda constantly refutes the accusations. 

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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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