President Kagame sheds light on rumors of Rwandan soldiers being present in DRC

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 29 April 2020 at 11:27

In a press conference on Monday, President Paul Kagame has denied allegations that there are Rwandan soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, contributing in the fight against armed groups.

Since June last year, the FARDC has stepped up its crackdown on militant groups, in a bid to eradicate the insecurity that has ravaged the Eastern province of the country.

These heavy attacks have killed countless militants.

In September 2019, when Sylvestre Mudacumura, the leader of the FDLR, was killed in an attack on its base in Bwito District, North Kivu Province.

The rest was worth the effort, others agree to surrender and hand them over to the military, they were tied up and handed over to Rwanda, a few are still in the jungles; since FARDC set fire on these units in an unusual way, they have begun to say Rwanda is behind all these.

“All of this survives on myths, rumors, and all kinds of things we find anywhere, including surprisingly the experts. There are experts who have been operating in this region for the last 26 years, they tell the same stories, sometimes spreading the same rumors, that is what we are now used to for the last 26 years,” he said.

There are various factions in Congo, such as the North there is FDRL, RUD Urunana, and many others. While in the South there is a P5 from the RNC of Kayumba Nyamwasa, the FLN of Rusesabagina Paul and others.

This is being reconciled with the fact of other neighboring countries, where President Kagame does not understand how people should be able to see it and tend not to see it and blame Rwanda.

“I am surprised that we have some of these experts, who do not see what is there that is supposed to be seen by anyone who is there. But instead, they see what is not there. What I mean is, how can somebody be talking about Rwandans or RDF (Rwanda Defence Forces) in that part of the region? Because they are not there, and this same person or these people don’t see the very things happening there." he said.

At the end of May last year, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola signed an agreement establishing a coalition of the three countries to address issues including insecurity caused by armed groups.

President Kagame said the intelligence that Rwanda had received and shared it with those concerned was indicative of the presence of Burundian militants in South Kivu.

“Our intelligent collection tells us, we have forces from Burundi, government forces operating in that region. we have a number of rebel groups you can’t count easily in that situation. They involve Barundi, people from here, those connected with the FDLR that kept breaking in different pieces,” he said.

“I don’t know if people are confusing genuinely or deliberately, the Rwandans that are said to be there and have been there for a long time, are these offsprings of the FDLR, not RDF; these are two different things. there is not a single soldier of RDF that has gone to that territory, not a single one,” he added.

President Kagame went on to add that the DRC government knows well that no Rwandan soldier was on its territory.

The head of the State said the DRC government had agreed to work with its neighbors to resolve this issue that has last for years. Not only do some people see it as a bad thing, but they also spread rumors that the Rwandan Armed Forces are deployed on Congolese land.

"According to some people, it is not a good thing that the government of DRC would be working with countries, neighboring countries to deal with this matter because for some reason it is their problem; they want to preserve it so that it stays maybe for another 25 years, I don’t know. That’s why they are putting pressure on them by creating these lies,"

President Kagame noted that the information that Rwanda’s intelligence service gets, shared with the United Nations and the DRC government, was beginning to make decisions based on it.

"They started acting on some of the information we gave them, because they were also able to verify and see what was growing in North Kivu, it started operating against these groups of FDLR," he said.

After the DRC started an operation against these groups based on information provided by Rwanda, some people started claiming that the RDF had gone there, but ignored the problems the FDLR had caused to the Congolese people.

President Paul Kagame has denied allegations that there are Rwandan soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, contributing in the fight against armed groups.