RDF refutes allegations of carrying out an incursion into DRC

On 28 July 2023 at 12:08

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has refuted allegations made by Congolese Army (FARDC) that its forces conducted an incursion into North Kivu Province, dismissing the claims as baseless.

In a statement released on Thursday, July 27, 2023, the Congolese Army accused Rwandan soldiers of crossing the Congolese border and attacking border security forces.

In response, RDF has issued a statement denying the accusations.

“The accusations are baseless and part of a long-standing pattern of misinformation and propaganda by the DRC leadership to divert attention from their internal failures in maintaining peace and security within their own borders, while continuing to support, arm and fight alongside the genocidal militia FDLR,” reads the statement in part.

The statement from the RDF also notes a continued trend of false accusations and escalation, which it believes may serve as a pretext for a planned attack by the FARDC/FDLR on Rwandan territory.

Recently, Rwanda released another statement warning the DRC against continuously searching for justifications to launch attacks on Rwanda. Through the statement issued by the Government Spokesperson, Rwanda emphasized its commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and asserted that it would take all necessary measures to protect itself.

This response came after a statement released on July 19th by the Congolese Army, signed by spokesperson Maj Gen Ekenge Bomusa Efoma Sylvain. At the time, FARDC claimed to be reacting to a statement allegedly made by the Rwandan government on July 18th, in which Rwanda supposedly announced its readiness to send troops from the RDF to the DRC.

However, Rwanda denied the existence of such a statement, adding that the claim by FARDC is merely a pretext aimed at escalating hostilities and justifying an attack on Rwandan soil.

The DRC has been accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebel group, a claim that Rwanda has consistently denied. Rwanda characterizes the clashes between the Congolese Army and M23 as an internal conflict and has advised the neighboring country to take responsibility for its internal problems instead of externalizing them.

Meanwhile, Rwanda accuses the FARDC of supporting, arming, and fighting alongside the genocidal militia group known as the FDLR.

DRC is reported to have previously provoked Rwanda on multiple occasions and launched rocket attacks on Rwandan territory in collaboration with the FDLR terrorist group.

Congolese fighter jets have also trespassed into Rwanda’s airspace three times since 2022.

Rwanda maintains that it remains committed to its duty of defending territorial integrity against external aggression.