Rwanda condemns international community’s silence on atrocities in DRC

On 17 February 2023 at 12:42

Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Claver Gatete has said that killings targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continue to escalate and denounced the international community’s silence in this situation.

Amb. Gatete made the disclosure on Thursday as he attended the committee briefing by the Group of Experts on the DRC which released a report towards the end of 2022.

The report was published amidst problems facing the country including the fighting between Congolese Army (FARDC) and M23 rebel group as well as the violence against Kinyarwanda-speaking communities, particularly of Tutsi ethnicity.

Amb. Gatete reminisced on violence in the country that has seen over 80,000 Congolese fleeing to Rwanda.

Since November 2022, Rwanda has been receiving at least more than 100 Congolese refugees every day.

“The narrative by DRC thus far is that Rwanda is the aggressor, and DRC is the perpetual victim. This is in spite of the fact that DRC lacks political commitment to implement the existing agreements and regional mechanisms, including the Luanda Roadmap and the Nairobi Process," he said.

Considering the situation, Amb. Gatete called on the international community for action.

"It’s now time for the international community to recognize the plight of the Congolese Tutsi and take decisive action to hold accountable all those responsible to save millions of lives currently at stake in Congo," he noted.

"The international community’s silence means a direct endorsement of atrocity crimes against these people," he added.

Amb. Gatete reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to regional mechanisms and dialogue towards security in the region and called for decisive action to finally take place.

Figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Rwanda chapter, indicate that 4,176 Congolese sought refuge in Rwanda between November 2022 and 1st February 2023.

They are accommodated in Mahama camp and transit centers of Kijote and Nkamira in the districts of Rubavu and Nyabihu.

The majority of these refugees are from Northern Kivu Province in the regions of Masisi and Rutshuru.

Rwanda has condemned international community’s silence on atrocities in DRC.