Dec 9, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Rwanda to retaliate against ‘further attacks’ from DR Congo

Rwanda will retaliate against more attacks from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the east African nation’s foreign minister warned Tuesday as tensions rise between the two neighbors.

A diplomatic feud between Kigali and Kinshasa has taken place Escalated in recent days as both sides trade allegations of backing armed militias in the volatile region of eastern DRC that borders Rwanda.

Read:Rwanda denies supporting an armed group in the DRC

Rwanda last week accused Congolese forces of firing rockets into its territory and said two of its soldiers were on a patrol with the Democratic Liberation Forces Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group active in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Congolese army in turn said on Sunday that the two soldiers had entered their territory and been taken into custody.

At a news conference in Kigali on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta warned: “If the attacks continue, Rwanda has the right to respond and we have the ability to respond.”

“We don’t want war, we want peace,” he said, but added, “As a government, we have a duty to protect the lives of Rwandans.”

“Should we let everyone in Rwanda just shoot us and just keep quiet?”

On Saturday, Congolese authorities suspended Rwanda’s national airline RwandAir over Kigali’s alleged support of the M23 rebel group , prompting the airline to cancel all flights to the DRC.

Rwanda, meanwhile, has accused the DRC government of working closely with the FDLR.

The ties between the b Both countries have been tense since the mass arrival of Rwandan Hutus in eastern DRC accused of slaughtering Tutsi during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Kinshasa has regularly accused Rwanda of invading and invading its territory support armed groups. Kigali has denied involvement.

Also read:AU asks Angolan President to mediate in Congo-Rwanda crisis

Relations began to thaw , after DRC President Felix Tshisekedi took office in 2019, but recent fighting between Congolese forces and M23 – a mainly Congolese Tutsi group – has reignited tensions.

Am On Monday, hundreds held an anti-Rwanda protest in the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, as protesters called for the expulsion of the Rwandan ambassador.

The United Nations said last week that the renewed clashes killed 72,000 had displaced people and warned that those fleeing were facing constant violence and the ransacking of their homes.