Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Robert Kayinamura, has in a strongly worded statement, condemned the DR Congo’s arming of Militias in the region, there is lack of political will from Kinshasa.
As fighting continues between the DR Congo’s army and the M23 rebels, the former’s alliance with a host of blacklisted militias, including the FDLR, threatens regional security, Kayinamura.said in his briefing to the UN Security Council on the Great Lakes Region, and DR Congo security situation in particular, Kayinamura.
He expressed grave concern over the alleged support provided by the government of Kinshasa to armed groups operating within the DRC.
“On the other hand, there is a lack of political will from Kinshasa, exemplified by its failure—or rather, refusal—to diminish the threat posed by foreign armed groups, among other issues,” he said.
He emphasized that such actions undermine regional security and pose a threat not only to the DRC but also to neighboring countries, adding that Rwanda supports the Nairobi and Luanda peace processes.
The accusations made by Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative highlight the complexity of the situation in the DRC and the need for concerted efforts to address the underlying causes of violence and conflict.
The hostilities between armed groups allied to the government and the M23 have escalated an already tense security situation, the head of UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo Bintou Keita told the Security Council.
“The agreements made in Luanda and Nairobi have not been implemented in word and spirit, emphasising a persistent and significant absence of political will to uphold the commitments that were signed,” Kayinamura said.
“The rhetoric around the sovereignty and territorial integrity of DRC, without evoking that of neighbouring countries affected by this conflict, is completely misplaced and aims at fueling conflict. Every country’s territorial integrity matters.”
“Presently, over 120 armed groups, including the FDLR genocidal force and its splinter groups integrated into the Congolese national army, occupy Eastern DRC,” he noted.
“Local negative armed groups known as ‘Wazalendo,’ established as the national Army Reserve Defense Forces, receive full operational and logistical support, contradicting the spirit of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and regional peace and security roadmaps.”
Kayinamura in particular urged the Security Council not to turn a blind eye on the continued persecution of DR Congo’s Kinyarwanda-speaking communities.
“Rwanda is alarmed by the growing hate speech and xenophobia, particularly calls for the expulsion of Congolese Tutsi communities, which are being overlooked by this Council,” he noted.
These issues are the principal causes of instability, human rights violations, and insecurity in eastern DR Congo, Kayinamura said.
“Inflammatory rhetoric by politicians and documented evidence of hate violence targeting Congolese Tutsi communities and Rwandaphones in Masisi Territory and other areas, calls for intervention to prevent ongoing ethnic cleansing.
“The council must break its silence and condemn in the strongest terms the persecution of [Congolese] Rwandaphones, more especially the Tutsi communities.”
Eastern DR Congo has remained volatile for nearly three decades, with multiple regional and international interventions failing to end the violence committed by the armed groups.