Sadate writes to President Kagame calling for protection against impending DRC threats

By Esther Muhozi
On 19 February 2024 at 02:29

In the context of escalating tensions between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the DRC’s armed forces (FARDC) announcing at the end of last year the deployment of combat drones near the Rwandan border, Sadate Munyakazi wrote an open letter to President Kagame urging him to distance the forces that are encroaching on Rwanda’s borders and seeking to destabilize Rwandans.

Towards the end of last year, fighters including those from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) were seen near the Rwandan border, singing battle songs that suggest plans to invade Rwanda. This occurred after President Tshisekedi announced his support for their efforts to overthrow the Rwandan government.

The FDLR is a terrorist group composed of individuals involved in the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and they continue to spread genocide ideology in Eastern Congo.

In July 2023, there were reports that the FARDC had positioned some FDLR fighters along the Rwandan border, and plans were uncovered for attacks, including grenade attacks in the city of Rubavu.

In his lengthy letter to President Kagame, Sadate Munyakazi, the former president of Rayon Sports Football Club, highlighted the presence of enemies at Rwanda’s borders "aiming to destroy us."

Munyakazi, writing as an ordinary citizen, expressed concern that while citizens are focused on development and improving the country, they are worried about the genocide ideology that continues to spread in the region.

He voiced his concerns over the enemy amassing at the borders with powerful weapons and a hatred for Rwanda, asking for protection against an enemy intent on destruction. Munyakazi acknowledged that Congo’s issues are primarily for Congolese to resolve but believed there should be international intervention in cases of genocide or severe violence, suggesting that neighboring problems should become a shared concern due to the shared experience of suffering.

Munyakazi emphasized that the violence against Kinyarwanda speakers and Tutsis in the DRC is a direct result of the genocide ideology spread by the FDLR, which has been present in the DRC’s forests for 30 years and is now openly collaborating with the country’s military.

He reminded President Kagame of the mandate given to him by the voters, which includes leadership, protection, and development, urging him to protect the nation from the enemy’s plans of destruction. He reflected on Kagame’s legacy, suggesting that self-reliance is crucial, especially where there is sufficient land, indicating that it’s time for action.

In November 2023, President Tshisekedi told France 24 that the deployment of combat aircraft and drones made in China in the east of the country was not for election security but for readiness for war with Rwanda, urging for a strategic distance from the enemy to dismantle the amassed weapons at their doorstep.

The Rwandan government, in a statement on February 18, 2024, responded to President Tshisekedi’s remarks about collaborating with the FDLR to overthrow the Rwandan leadership, stating these comments have led to strengthened defenses. The statement highlighted that DRC’s leaders, including President Tshisekedi, have openly expressed their intent to invade Rwanda and change its leadership through force, prompting Rwanda to bolster its defense capabilities.

Currently, the situation remains tense between Rwanda and the DRC, partly due to the M23 conflict, which has resurged in Eastern DRC for nearly two years.