Rwanda dismisses ’unvalidated allegations’ of sending soldiers to DRC

On 5 August 2022 at 07:00

The Government of Rwanda has dismissed ’unvalidated allegations’ of UN Group of Experts that its soldiers were sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to fight along with M23 rebel group.

The supposedly leaked report of UN Group of Experts indicates that it has "solid evidence" that Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and providing it with weapons, ammunitions and uniforms among other support.

The Government of Rwanda released a statement announcing that it cannot comment on an unpublished and unvalidated report.

Reuters has published a story featuring findings of the supposedly leaked report that Rwandan troops and the M23 jointly attacked the Congolese army camp in Rumangabo in May.

"When the M23 took control of the strategic border town of Bunagana in June, Rwandan soldiers were either present or had provided equipment to the rebels," reads part of the report’s findings published by Reuters.

The report reads that the target of the M23 and Rwandan operations in Congo has been the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group which Rwanda accuses Congo of using as a proxy.

It also indicates that some members of Congo’s army have supported and fought alongside a coalition of armed groups including the FDLR.

These allegations were not part of a recent experts’ report submitted to UN Security Council in June 2022.

On the other hand, it is said that the mid-term report will be released in December where the Government of Rwanda considers the allegations as a tactic to distract people from the real issues.

“Until the problem of FDLR, which operates in close collaboration with the DRC army, is taken seriously and addressed, security in the Great Lakes region cannot be achieved. This is happening in full view of MONUSCO, which has been present in DRC for more than twenty years, but with no solution in sight,” reads part of a statement released by Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Rwanda reported different incidents where rockets shelled on its territory from DRC injured civilians and destroyed houses.

It is said that investigations were made and were part of UN Group of Experts’ report in June.

“Rwanda has a legitimate and sovereign right to defend our territory and citizens, and not just wait for disaster to unfold,” adds the statement.

It also indicates that the presence of M23 and its origins are well-known as a problem of the DRC, which they seek to make a burden of other countries yet Rwanda hosts tens of thousands of Congolese refugees, some of whom stayed there for more than 25 years.

“As regional frameworks are trying to manage the situation in Eastern DRC, Rwanda has consistently raised the alarm with the United Nations and other international actors about this infringement of the security of our country. Rwanda is working for peace and stability, from which Rwanda and all our neighbours can benefit,” reads the statement.

The Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Yolande Makolo.