Rwanda to France: DR Congo crisis can be over if ‘real issues’ are addressed

In a post on social media platform X, Makolo said on Tuesday, February 20, the French government was in position to know that a solution to the conflict in eastern DR Congo would be found if the root causes were addressed.

“No one knows more about the root causes and history of the conflict in eastern DRC than France,” Makolo said.

The Congolese government accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels – allegations Kigali dismisses. Rwanda has stressed that the conflict in eastern DR Congo is a result of internal problems including bad governance, ethnic discrimination, and violence, in DR Congo.

Kigali also accuses the Congolese armed forces, or FARDC, of integrating the FDLR, a Rwandan ethnic militia directly linked to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The US-sanctioned terrorist group has spread hate and violence against Congolese Tutsi communities for over two decades.

FDLR integration into DR Congo army must be addressed – Kagame

“If the real issues at the origin of the ongoing conflict were addressed, the problem would not exist,” the government spokesperson said.

Additionally, she said, “the current head of UN Peacekeeping Operations is also very conversant with this history, as well as what is going on in eastern DRC, so there should be no confusion.”

A recent escalation in hostilities in eastern DR Congo has raised concerns that the conflict may turn into a regional crisis if it is not contained early. Different governments and organisations are pushing to revive the Luanda and Nairobi peace processes, which have been in a stalemate for months.

Since early February, the M23 rebels have advanced towards Goma, the capital of North Kivu, raising fears that they might take control of the city of an estimated two million people.

The Rwandan government on Sunday said it was concerned by DR Congo’s military build-up in North Kivu province near the two countries’ border.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Rwanda faced a “serious threat” from DR Congo, whose president has said on multiple occasions that he would declare a war on Rwanda.

It said the Congolese government had abandoned peace processes in pursuit of a more offensive position that “clearly aims to expel M23 and Congolese Tutsi civilians into neighbouring countries.”

Rwanda said it has “the right to take any legitimate measures to defend our country, so long as this threat exists.”

The M23 rebel group resurfaced in November 2021, after nearly a decade in hibernation. The group which had been defeated in 2013 said the Congolese government had ignored their previous agreements and that the persecution of Congolese Tutsi communities had continued unabated.








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