FDLR is a rebel outfit comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
The concerns were expressed by Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Claver Gatete as the UN Security Council reviewed the current security situation in eastern DRC.
“Rwanda has serious concerns over the collaboration between FARDC and FDLR. This Security Council needs to be reminded that FDLR has posed serious threat to people in eastern DRC and regional security for almost 30 years,” he said.
Amb. Gatete also reminisced on recent provocations by DRC to Rwanda and expressed concerns that efforts to improve bilateral relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo are being undermined.
On 23rd May 2022, the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo fired shells across the Rwandan border. It was the second shelling on Rwandan territory this year which resulted in several serious injuries.
DRC has been accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel group but Rwanda refuted the allegations which it termed as ‘baseless’.
Apart from shelling rockets in Rwanda, it was also reported that FARDC in collaboration with FARDC kidnapped two Rwandan soldiers on patrol on Saturday last week.
Rwanda explained at different times that it had legitimacy to respond to the provocations but did not respond lest the tension escalates.
Amb. Gatete has indicated that the resumption of hostilities between M23 and those forces were concerning adding that M23 members should not be labelled as Rwandans because they are Congolese nationals whose grievances should be resolved in that State.
He also warned of the resurgence of anti-Rwanda hate speech and calls for genocide, encouraged by some officials and politicians in DRC.
“There should never be silence on this issue by this Council and the international community in view of what happened in Rwanda in 1994,” Amb. Gatete stressed.
Citing three decades of dangerous cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, he urged the United Nations through MONUSCO not to stand by and watch it continue.
Amb. Gatete also categorically rejected allegations by the Democratic Republic of the Congo that Rwanda supports the M23, underscoring that Rwanda ‘has absolutely no interest in destabilizing Kinshasa’.
“Such allegations are a pretext by spoilers within that country to externalize conflict for domestic political gains,” he said.