Amb. Vincent Karega quits DRC

On 31 October 2022 at 02:15

Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Vincent Karega has quit the country which has given him 48 hours to leave.

Amb. Karega was notified of the country’s decision to expel him on in the morning of Monday.

The decision was reached on Saturday during a High Defence Council presided over by President Felix Tshisekedi following escalating tensions between Rwanda and DRC.

The decision was communicated to Amb. Karega by Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula who informed him that he must leave the country in 48 hours.

Amb. Karega did not wait until the last minute but decided to depart from the country as soon as possible.

IGIHE has learnt from credible sources that Amb. Karega departed from Kinshasa on Monday afternoon heading for Congo Brazzaville from where he will be flown to Kigali.

Despite his departure, other diplomats and employees of Rwanda’s embassy in the country have stayed and will carry on their work as usual.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has told IGIHE that circumstances under which Amb. Karega was expelled is against diplomatic process as she learnt about the decision via television.

“It is not usually done before summoning an ambassador for discussions and informing him of possible decision. Even if it might be taken before, you can notify him instead of learning about the decision through television,” he said.

Congolese government last summoned Amb. Karega in May this year to provide explanations on the country’s allegations that Rwanda supports M23 rebel group.

Rwanda has repeatedly rejected the accusations and urged DRC to solve internal problems instead of externalizing them.

On the other hand, Rwanda has expressed regret over DRC’s decision to expel Amb. Vincent Karega, adding that security forces remain on alert over ongoing security problems in Congo.

Rwanda highlighted that the ongoing collaboration between Congolese Army and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and their attempts to target the border area with heavy weaponry is a situation of concern.

FDLR is a terrorist formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The statement further indicates that Rwanda continues to bring to the attention of the international community the persistent hate speech, public incitement and violent harassment against Rwandans and Congolese Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the DRC, carried out by Congolese officials and the general public.

Rwanda has expressed concerns over DRC’s continued provocation through scapegoating Rwanda ‘to cover up and distract from their own governance and security failures’.

The country also reiterated commitment to contribute to a sustainable, peaceful regional security solution within the agreed regional frameworks, including the Luanda Roadmap and the Nairobi Process.

Amb. Karega receiving an expulsion letter from the Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Amb. Karega has met with Christophe Lutundula who notified him of the expulsion.