In an interview with France 24 and RFI on November 16, 2023, Tshisekedi asserted that engaging in war was the optimal choice for his country, citing the international community’s refusal to impose sanctions on Rwanda.
Tshisekedi alleges that Rwanda is providing support to the M23 rebel group in eastern DRC, a claim vehemently denied by the Rwandan government. In contrast, Rwanda asserts that DR Congo is collaborating with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group comprising individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Mukuralinda commented that Tshisekedi’s declarations, coupled with claims of possessing ample war equipment, convey a clear message about his intentions.
Mukuralinda highlighted Tshisekedi’s acknowledgment of mercenaries, active drones, and his readiness to defend his country before, during, or after elections.
These statements, according to Mukuralinda, signal a need for Rwandan troops to be on high alert.
Tshisekedi mentioned having 1000 mercenaries and support from Wazalendo, a militia group involved in the ongoing conflict between DR Congo and the M23 rebel group.
Wazalendo is a coalition of armed groups, including FDLR, fighting alongside Congolese soldiers against M23. Mukuralinda emphasized that Rwanda cannot afford to remain passive in the face of these actions and statements and must remain vigilant.
He clarified Rwanda’s stance, stating, "Whether a war happens or not, Rwanda is on standby. It is prepared for a peaceful process, prioritizing dialogue and regional intervention to assist DR Congo in resolving the issues." Mukuralinda added, "Rwanda will never be complacent and will always protect its security and border sovereignty."
In light of Tshisekedi’s remarks, Rwanda underscores its primary concern for peace rather than war, emphasizing its commitment to proactive measures for regional stability and conflict resolution.