Rwanda warns non-state actors on regional stability
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo has warned against “reckless interference by non-state actors in the region,” saying that such conduct can result in human suffering.
The warning comes shortly after a UN report, leaked to the BBC, alleged that Rwanda is supporting the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“We will not fall for all these provocations and so-called leaked reports designed to inflame tension and create conflict. Far from it. Rwanda and the DRC have been working even closer than before to resolve the situation in DRC,” the Minister said.
Minister Mushikiwabo disclosed that the government was aware of a new fundraising effort by Human Rights Watch who are planning to release another “batch of recycled rumours designed to implicate Rwanda”.
“The region is not a ground for non-state actors to play politics or raise money while fomenting violence and human suffering,” Minister Mushikiwabo warned, emphasising that neither the Rwandan or Congolese people benefit from the continued instability in the eastern DRC.
“The primary beneficiaries are the FDLR terrorists who feast on insecurity. But unaccountable actors like Human Rights Watch also profit from this by raising millions of dollars through the dissemination of simplistic reports based on the same old unverified reports and lies,” the Minister added.
The FDLR, a terrorist group operating in eastern DRC, is composed of mainly elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed the lives of at least a million people.
“The irresponsible words of lobbyists like Human Rights Watch are no less dangerous than bullets or machetes. We read today in the Guardian newspaper of killings and the disfigurement of dead bodies. Rwanda knows these tell-tale signs too well. These are the same forces who killed over one million people in Rwanda in 1994. We know their modus operandi. Their actions today carry a chilling ring of familiarity.”
Minister Mushikiwabo said that the government of Rwanda understands that the stakes are too high for the region and that is why she requested Roger Meece, UN Special Representative to the DRC to come to Kigali to explain why MONUSCO is spreading false rumours.
“We are not involved in internal DRC political or military affairs. Allegations to the contrary have no basis in fact. Even the source (UN) of this week’s rumours has backed off them, admitting there is no evidence for any involvement by the Rwandan Government.”
The Governments of Rwanda and DRC have closely worked together to restore peace with armies from both countries carrying out joint operations to root out insurgents that have continuously wrecked havoc in eastern DRC and the borders western Rwanda.
Such efforts have restored peace and since 2009 the situation has been stable. And, with the breakout of the recent conflict, army and security chiefs from both countries have met regularly to come up with a solution.
According to the Minister, such false reports are dangerous as they not only aggravate the volatile situation in Eastern DRC, but also undermine ongoing collaboration between Rwanda and DRC governments to restore stability and shelter refugees fleeing the conflict.