Rwandans travelling to DRC urged to be cautious

On 31 October 2022 at 12:38

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has advised Rwandans travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be cautious amidst escalating tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

Mukuralinda sent the warning on Sunday following DRC’s decision to expel Rwanda’s Ambassador, Vincent Karega.

The decision was reached through a High Defence Council chaired by Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Saturday.

It was taken at a time when Congolese Army (FARDC) continues to loose bases to M23 rebel group and attributes its strength to alleged support from Rwanda.

Rwanda has however denied the allegations repeatedly calling the fight with M23 an internal problem which should be addressed by DRC.

Appearing in RBA talk show in the evening of Sunday 30th October 2022, Mukuralinda affirmed that bilateral relations have deteriorated but observed that the things have not fallen apart.

“It is something that can frustrate everyone be it the government or Rwandans. They cannot express contentment over deteriorating relations. It is important to bring it to their attention that bilateral relations have been spoiled but things have not fallen apart,” he said.

Mukuralinda explained that bringing the setback to their awareness helps Rwandans to remain protected against effects of speeches propagated by leaders from the neighbouring country.

He was referring to DRC’s recent announcement to suspend RwandAir flights and revoke all agreements with Rwanda which was followed by protests against Rwandans.

Mukuralinda said that the declarations of Congolese leaders affect citizens who begin to sharpen machetes and turn violent against Rwandans running businesses in the country and harass Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese.

“Such behaviours take roots from the leaders’ speeches. It is a reality that people should neither overlook nor forget. That is why I have to advise people, like students to cross with vigilance. I would advise individuals to suspend travel to the country for one week where it is possible, while others unable to do so should be watchful along the way,” he noted.

The Government of Rwanda recently announced that security forces remain on alert amidst ongoing fight between M23 and FARDC which has teamed up with FDLR.

Rwandans travelling to DRC have been warned of possible violence.