DR Congo: President Tshisekedi insists Rwanda backing M23 rebels

    DR Congo and Rwanda governments have been pointing fingers at each other over the activities of M23 rebels in DR Congo.

    President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo says he has “no doubts on Rwanda’s support for a rebellion” that have invaded his country.

    The DR Congo leader, who was speaking 0n Sunday, June 5, said his wish is to maintain peaceful relations with his neighbours.

    “I have always supported the idea of building bridges instead of constructing walls,” President Tshisekedi said.

    However, he warned that neighbours should not take his wish for peace as weakness. “The fact of wishing for peace, fraternity and solidarity is not a weakness, and it should not constitute an occasion for neighbours to come and provoke us.”

    “I hope that Rwanda has learnt this lesson because today it is clear, there is no doubt that Rwanda has supported the M23 to come and attack DR Congo.”

    The new tension between DR Congo and Rwanda was provoked by the resurgence of the old Tutsi rebellion of M23 in the eastern part of the country.

    The matter was on the menu of talks last weekend between President Tshisekedi and his colleague of the neighbouring Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), President Denis Sassou N’Guesso in Oyo, which is about 400 kilometres to the north of Brazzaville.

    DR Congo has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels after violent clashes broke out in May, ending between the insurgents and the DR Congo army, FARDC.

    Rwanda has rejected the accusations, but the Congolese government has suspended flights of RwandAir to Congo and summoned the Rwandan ambassador to Kinshasa to inform him of a “severe warning”.

    President Tshisekedi recalled that the M23 rebels had been “totally defeated” in 2013 by the DR Congo army and “their arsenal confiscated”.

    “If today they have taken back the hair of the beast, it means they came from somewhere and were somewhere armed by somebody,” he said.

    President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, on his part, has declared that he is “confident about the resolution of this crisis”.

    “I think we are going to rapidly overcome these difficulties and bring back peace through dialogue,” President N’Guesso said.

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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