Rwandan Government Accuses DRC Of Abandoning November Peace Deal
The Rwandan government on Thursday accused the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of not abiding by a deal aimed at bringing peace to the country’s volatile east as tensions spiral between the two countries, reported The TRT World.
Notably, fighting continues between Congolese military and the M23 group rebels in eastern DRC, despite declarations of a ceasefire and troop withdrawals.
The DRC, the United States and several European countries have repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the Tutsi-led rebels. But, the Rwandan government continues to deny the charge.
Last year in November, talks between the DRC and Rwanda led to the signing of a truce agreement in the Angolan capital Luanda.
But, citing ongoing violence on Wednesday, DRC’s Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula accused the M23 and the Rwandan government of once more failing to uphold their commitments.
He vowed that DRC would continue to safeguard its territorial integrity and warned that the government would deploy all means to that end.
In response, on Thursday, the Rwandan government said the statement amounted to a threat and accused DRC of seeking to exit the agreements made in Luanda and also Nairobi.
“Attempts by the DRC to sabotage or abandon these regional agreements can only be seen as a choice to perpetuate conflict and insecurity,” Kigali said in a statement.
Kigali has repeatedly accused Kinshasa of supporting the FDLR — a former Rwandan Hutu rebel group based in the DRC.
Several armed groups are active in the east of the mineral-rich DRC, many of them were established as a result of two regional wars at the end of the 20th century that claimed millions of lives.
The M23 first came into rise in 2012 and resumed fighting in late 2021, accusing the DRC of failing to honour a pledge to integrate them into the army, among other grievances.