Fighting is not our option: Rwanda reassures citizens on relations with DRC

On 30 May 2022 at 10:51

The Government of Rwanda has revealed that it does not consider fighting with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite repetitive attacks from the neighboring country.

The revelation comes at a time when DRC continues to accuse Rwanda of supporting March 23 rebel group in clashes with Congolese Army (FARDC) which has teamed up with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

FDLR is rebel outfit comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who at different times plotted hit-and-run attacks to Rwanda and repelled back.

Last week, FARDC in collaboration with FDLR shelled rockets on Rwanda’s territory which injured residents and destroyed houses in Musanze and Burera districts in Northern Province.

Following the incident on Monday, Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) requested the regional Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to launch probe into the incident.

In the same week on Saturday 28th May 2022, RDF announced that Congolese Army with FDLR kidnapped two Rwandan soldiers on patrol.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has said that clashes with M23 rebel group is DRC’s internal matter that might continue to affect the country if no solution is reached.

He was appearing in a talk show aired on Rwanda Television to express views about the current tension with DRC.

Mukuralinda said that DRC recently kidnapped two Rwandan soldiers on patrol along Rwanda’s border falsely claiming that they had crossed the borderline.

“They need to analyze the situation. How come that two soldiers can cross and walk 20 kilometers with their identifications, military uniforms and whatever identifying them as Rwandan soldiers. Would they be mentally stable? That is one evidence people should consider,” he stated.

Mukuralinda also commented on rockets from DRC shelled on Rwanda’s land.

“We are not spreading rumours when we say that the projectiles were shelled from DRC. We know places where they were shelled and injured people. Fortunately, no one died but the rockets destroyed houses and injured people. Following the incident, Rwanda did neither exaggerate the situation nor raise alarm through the media,” he said.

"There is a joint mechanism with DRC or broader process involving regional countries. Secondly, Rwanda spoke to the Government of Congo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke to his counterpart, the President of the Republic talked to his counterpart,” Mukuralinda added.


Mukuralinda said that it was possible for Rwanda to respond following the shelling on its land but highlighted that it was not an optimal choice.

“It is a provocation. One might wonder if it is not a way of dragging us in DRC’s problems,” he noted.

Mukuralinda has however reassured Rwandans considering the fact that there is willingness to engage with DRC on the matter.

“Fighting is not our option. If it was the case, we would be patient as they shelled on Rwanda’s land in March and respond when they shelled again in May. Not shelling on their land, doesn’t mean that Rwanda is unable to do so,” he said.

“This means that fighting is not an optimal choice on the side of Rwanda. The possibility is to solve problems through peaceful processes whether involving a large or small number of people to find a durable solution,” Mukuralinda added.

He went on to explain that Rwanda will make possible efforts to avoid being drawn into a war.

“Rwanda is committed to make possible efforts to collaborate with Congo, work with regional countries to get the matter solved through dialogue and peace accords,” Mukuralinda noted.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has said that the country mulls ending the tension with DRC through peaceful processes.