DRC celebrates Independence amidst tension with Rwanda, Tshisekedi promises Congolese to quell intruders

On 1 July 2022 at 09:33

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Antoine Tshisekedi has promised Congolese that he will make possible efforts to quell intruders threatening the country’s security alluding to alleged Rwanda’s support to M23 rebel group.

He was delivering a speech via national broadcaster as his country celebrated Independence on 30th June 2022.

Tshisekedi said that the day is celebrated at a time when the eastern part of DRC is faced with insecurity.

He affirmed that Rwanda is behind the deteriorated situation in his country over ‘its support to M23’.

Tshisekedi assured to continue upholding the Independence of DRC, protect territorial integrity and national unity as stipulated in the Constitution.

“I promise the people of DRC that I will make efforts to the best of his ability to maintain peace and security. Those provoking us will be quelled from our territory,” he said.

Tshisekedi requested Congolese to stick to territorial integrity highlighting that his country cannot allow provocations to continue.

“Today, peace and security are our top priorities. DRC suffered huge losses, including more than 10 million deaths while millions of people were displaced and fled due to crimes committed by armed groups including those receiving support from outside the country,” he said.

To address the issue, Tshisekedi said that DRC committed to strive for peace and security through use of military force and diplomatic process.

On diplomatic process, Tshisekedi said that he sought support from the United Nations and the East African Community (EAC).

Two weeks ago, he met with heads of state for the third conclave to find a lasting solution to security issues in eastern DRC.

The meeting also discussed resolutions of Regional Chiefs of Defence Forces held on the previous day on 19th June to agree on deployment of joint forces to DRC.

During the meeting, DR Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) Chief of General Staff, Gen Célestin Mbala Munsense told counterparts that Rwandans should not be part of joint regional forces ‘because the country supports M23’.

Rwanda did not welcome the decision to boycott its troops from participating in the joint operation given that it has been repeatedly refuting DRC’s allegations calling them ‘baseless’.

During the conclave on the next day, Uganda also maintained that the participation of Rwandan troops would be of great significance considering their experience in fighting the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Meanwhile, Kenya and Burundi were on the side of DRC. It was finally agreed that Rwandan troops won’t participate in the joint operation in DRC but can share intelligence with the forces on ground.

Tshisekedi has explained that troops to be sent to his country will come from countries having good relations with DRC.

Tshisekedi insisted that he successfully defended his decision of boycotting Rwandan troops from landing on DRC’s land.

“I strived for it and succeeded in excluding Rwanda due to its support to M23,” he said.

The deployment of joint forces is expected this July or August.

Tshisekedi has promised Congolese to quell intruders.