Amb. Rwamucyo raises alarm over DR Congo’s violent anti-Rwandan rhetoric

On 12 December 2023 at 08:21

Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ernest Rwamucyo, delivered a compelling address to the UN Security Council on Monday, December 11, 2023. In his speech, following a report by the head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), Bintou Keita, Ambassador Rwamucyo urged the DR Congo to recommit to regional agreements, emphasizing their pivotal role in achieving lasting peace.

Amb. Rwamucyo expressed deep concern over the MONUSCO report’s silence on human rights violations and the impunity of the Congolese army. He highlighted routine civilian murders and state-enabled persecution against Tutsi communities, referencing the disturbing incident involving Congolese soldier Captain Gisore Rukatura, burnt alive in November. According to Rwamucyo, these heinous crimes are a direct consequence of the prevailing hate speech, discrimination, and genocide ideology against Congolese Tutsi in eastern DRC.

Citing UN Advisor on Genocide Prevention Alice Wairumu Nderitu’s warning against discrimination and hate speech, Rwamucyo called for UN action against the Congolese government. He implored the Security Council to hold the government accountable for encouraging discrimination and disinformation, advocating for a commission of inquiry.

Rwamucyo underscored the alarming trend of violent anti-Rwandan rhetoric by Congolese officials, particularly in the lead-up to the general elections on December 20. Notably, he pointed out threats made by several candidates, including incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi, involving invasion, mass murder, and annexation.

Drawing attention to the October 21 incident where armed individuals, including the FDLR, mobilized on DR Congo’s border with Rwanda, Rwamucyo urged the DRC to address provocations seriously. He emphasized that solutions to DR Congo’s security challenges lie in inclusive dialogue, regional cooperation, cessation of hostilities, and prioritizing civilian well-being.

Rwamucyo expressed concern over DR Congo’s refusal to renew the mandate of the East African Community (EAC) regional force, calling it detrimental to peace efforts in the country’s troubled east. He lamented Kinshasa’s termination of the EAC Regional Force, currently withdrawing from the volatile situation, stating that its premature departure undermines regional peace efforts.

Highlighting the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis in the region, Rwamucyo condemned DR Congo’s actions, including the violation of ceasefires brokered by regional peace processes. The Ambassador urged the international community to recognize the severity of the situation and stressed Rwanda’s commitment to ongoing regional efforts to stabilize eastern DR Congo.

Amb. Rwamucyo has voiced alarm over DR Congo’s violent anti-Rwandan rhetoric.