Rwanda points out root cause of unending conflict in DRC

On 27 October 2022 at 03:36

Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Robert Kayinamura has raised alarm over the presence of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and called for action to decimate the terrorist group.

He voiced the concern as the United Nations Security Council convened for discussions on Combating Illicit Trade in Natural Resources That Fuels Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The meeting took place on Wednesday 26th October 2022, amidst ongoing fight between Congolese Army (FARDC) and M23 rebel group that resumed on 20th October.

Reports indicate that the rebel group is on the verge of capturing Rutshuru territory.

DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the group, but the country repeatedly denied the allegations.

M23 has been claiming that resuming fighting was triggered by DRC’s stubbornness to implement peace Accords signed in 2013.

Kayinamura explained that Rwanda “knows first-hand what it takes to build a nation from the ashes”, which is why it is committed to carrying out all tasks required by the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement.

Stressing the need to address the root causes of conflict, he expressed concern about the “dangerous attitude” that characterizes certain communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo as “foreigners” who should “go back where they came from”.

Kayinamura highlighted that the attitude is “a seed of unending conflict” which undermines efforts to find a lasting solution.

Another concerning issue pointed out is FDLR, which settled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after committing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Kayinamura expressed worries that the armed group continues to recruit and train combatants and commit grave human rights violations, despite several Council resolutions and presidential statements calling for its disarmament and disbanding.

He further called on the international community to build on regional initiatives to achieve sustainable peace ‘by addressing the root causes of crises in the Great Lakes region, including the two-decades-long active presence of FDLR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’.

On the other hand, DRC’s envoy Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, said that the town of Bunagana has been occupied by M23 for more than four months, asked the Council to demand that “Rwanda and its M23 immediately withdraw.”

The envoy does not see FDLR as a problem but explained that it is used as a cover to loot minerals in his country.

He demanded the UN Security Council ‘to support the Nairobi process, require all armed groups to lay down their weapons, impose sanctions against internal and external mafia networks which illegally exploited the country’s natural resources, and ensure that each country in the Great Lakes region settles its disputes with the combatants and rebels’.

The envoy of Burundi, Zéphyrin Maniratanga said it is important to ensure that Council members goes beyond the presentation of reports in New York to a visit to the region so as to be able draw its own conclusions.

Burundi underscored the need for cooperation and coordination of military efforts between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO and the forces of the East African Community.

“When the house of your neighbour is on fire, you must move to contain the fire before it spreads to your own house,” he said.

Maniratanga expressed support for the Nairobi process and said that his country deployed a military contingent of the Burundi National Defence Force.

He said that the deployment is not only in need of political support, but also of technical and financial aid to ensure its effective discharge of its mandate.

Maniratanga also underscored that the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region is an essential platform to bring together the DRC and the regional countries to arrive at a lasting solution.

Kayinamura explained that Rwanda 'knows first-hand what it takes to build a nation from the ashes'.