Rwanda refutes UN allegations of having troops in DRC

On 10 January 2021 at 04:06

The Government of Rwanda has refuted allegations from the United Nations Group of Experts (GoE) claiming that the country has sent troops for operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The UN Group of Experts (GoE) Midterm report dated 23rd December 2020, claimed that Rwanda sent troops for military operations in Eastern DRC.

In a statement released on Friday, Rwanda has explained that such allegations are unfounded.

“The Government of Rwanda refutes allegations from the UN Group of Experts (GoE) Midterm report dated 23rd December 2020, and reiterates that there were no Rwandan troops on the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo and that there had been no recent Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) joint operations with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC),” reads the statement in part.

Rwanda enjoys cordial bilateral relations with the DRC, and there are several existing bilateral cooperation engagements, including military cooperation.

However, the statement further reads that, such cooperation is exclusively limited to intelligence sharing on various armed groups operating in Eastern DRC that are a common threat to both countries.

The Government of Rwanda also reiterated its commitment to promote national and regional natural resources governance mechanisms in the fight against illegal exploitation and trade of minerals in the region.

It is against this background, and in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill, that in February 2020, during the last visit of the UN GoE to Rwanda, they were shown various anti-smuggling efforts in place, and witnessed minerals that had been seized by authorities.

“The Government of Rwanda regrets the shortcomings of the UN GoE report, and the lack of good faith demonstrated by the experts. Despite being granted access to various Government institutions, facilitated in meeting witnesses and provided with responses to all issues raised, the UN GoE report omitted key information and clarifications provided by the GoR,” adds the statement.

The Government of Rwanda has concluded by expressing its deepest concerns towards ‘the lack of rigor from the UN GoE in the fulfillment of its mandate, raising serious concerns about the independence of its reports’.