Rwanda warns against pretext for DRC attack

On 20 July 2023 at 06:05

The Government of Rwanda has issued a warning to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) regarding its continuous search for justifications to launch attacks on Rwanda. In a statement released by the Government Spokesperson on 19th July 2023, Rwanda emphasized its commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and asserts that it will take all necessary measures to protect itself.

This response comes in light of a statement released on July 19th by the Congolese Army (FARDC), signed by spokesperson Maj Gen Ekenge Bomusa Efoma Sylvain.

The 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 Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) to the DRC.

However, Rwanda’s government spokesperson, in a statement released on July 19th, refuted the existence of such statement.

The spokesperson for the Rwandan government stated that the claim by the FARDC is merely a pretext aimed at escalating hostilities and justifying an attack on Rwandan soil.

FARDC has through its statement vowed to fight against anyone seeking to destabilize the DRC, indicating its readiness to respond if the RDF and M23 plot an attack.

The DRC has accused 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.

It should be noted that the DRC has 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 has assured that its sovereignty will remain protected.

“As reiterated earlier, Rwanda will maintain mechanisms in place to guard against violations of our airspace and borders, and will counter any spill-over from the conflict in the Eastern DRC conflict,” adds the statement.