DRC turns back on negotiations with Rwanda

On 24 January 2023 at 09:15

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has refused to take part in negotiations to mend ties with Rwanda. The meeting was expected to take place in Doha, Qatar as a country that expressed willingness to de-escalate tensions between the two neighbouring countries involved in reciprocal accusations of destabilizing each other’s security.

The tensions erupted as M23 rebel group resumed fighting the Congolese Army (FARDC) accusing DRC of failure to implement peace accords signed in 2013.

Instead of drawing attention to the real cause of instability, DRC started accusing Rwanda of backing M23 and formed a coalition with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The FARDC-FDLR coalition shelled rockets on Rwanda’s territory at different times which destroyed properties and injured people last year.

Apart from the provocations, DRC politicians have been propagating hate speeches that continue to fuel violence against Rwandophones who face rights abuse.

Despite DRC’s stand, Rwanda has repeatedly denied the allegations and urges the country to solve internal problems without dragging it into its mess.

On Monday 23rd January 2023, the Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda reminisced on DR Congo’s withdrawal from processes aimed at finding a solution even though he did not directly mention the name of the neighbouring country.

“After accusing Rwanda of being your aggressor and a supporter of your compatriots whom you are fighting, the facilitator invited you to a meeting with them. You ignored them,” he said.

“Then you asked for mediation. You have been invited to a meeting with Rwanda. You dodged it. Finally, if you avoid dialogue and meetings with them, with whom are you going to solve the problem?” wondered Mukuralinda.

As he appeared in a talk show at RBA on Sunday, Mukuralinda said that the DRC should be taking the first step towards a solution for instability but has been relenting on implementation of resolutions signed by the country’s president.

Mukuralinda pointed out other negotiations under Luanda and Nairobi processes which he refused to attend. He disclosed that Rwanda remains standby to defend its territorial integrity and committed to find a solution for existing problems.

Mukuralinda also expressed hope that DRC might one day realize that it is tampering with the process of negotiations and join others to find a durable solution for insecurity in eastern part of the country.

President Tshisekedi (left) has refused to participate in a meeting with his counterpart of Rwanda (right).