#RwandaDay2024: Minister Biruta reassures Rwanda’s security amid DR Congo threats

On 3 February 2024 at 10:15

During Rwanda Day 2024, Dr. Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, confidently reassured the nation’s security, addressing concerns stemming from the DRC/FDLR coalition. The statements were delivered on Saturday, February 3, 2024, as part of the second day of Rwanda Day in Washington, aiming to encourage dialogue with President Paul Kagame and unite the Rwandan diaspora and their friends.

In response to recent threats from the Congolese President and terrorist groups like the FDLR, along with the decision of Burundian President Ndayishimiye to close borders with Rwanda, Dr. Biruta underscored the resilience of national security.

He conveyed that, while maintaining a commitment to peace and advocating for political solutions to regional political issues, appropriate defense measures have been implemented to protect the territory. Dr. Biruta assured that there is no need for concern regarding Rwanda’s security.

Addressing the ongoing conflict in the East of the DRC, involving a coalition of FARDC/FDLR, Mai-Mai, Nyatura, Wazalendo, Burundian Defense Forces, and SADC Forces against the M23 Forces—Congolese fighting for their rights—Dr. Biruta explained that this conflict originated from the violation of previously signed political agreements by successive Congolese governments.

He noted that the security situation has remained volatile, particularly since the resurgence of the M23 towards the end of 2021. This resurgence was a consequence of the non-application of previously signed political agreements and the persistence of armed groups in the East of the DRC, including the FDLR genocidaires, posing a security threat to Rwanda.

Dr. Biruta continued by highlighting that recent conflicts have attracted new regional actors, further complicating the situation. The rise in hate speeches and targeted killings against Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, predominantly Tutsis, is a source of deep concern.

He emphasized that, although regional mechanisms like the Nairobi and Luanda processes were established to resolve this conflict, the lack of political will has hindered their implementation and the attainment of peace.

Expanding the perspective beyond Rwanda’s borders, Minister Biruta underscored the importance of international diplomatic efforts, highlighting the crucial role played by international partners, especially the United States, in the pursuit of regional stability.

He noted that international partners, including the United States, have actively engaged in efforts to ease tensions between Rwanda and the DRC and find solutions to conflicts.