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Kagame says ‘no problem’ Rwanda excluded from joint DRC power

President Paul Kagame. (Photo: Gallo Images)

  • East African leaders voted in Kenya last month to deploy a joint force to suppress fighting in the eastern DRC, but Kinshasa insisted it would not accept the presence of Rwandan troops.
  • The president of Rwanda said he had no problem with his troops being excluded from a proposed regional force.
  • A recent flare-up of heavy fighting in the east has revived decades-old hostilities between Kinshasa and Kigali, with the DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23 militia.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday that he had “no problem” with his troops excluding a proposed regional force for the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

East African leaders voted at a rally in Kenya last month to use a common force to suppress fighting in the eastern DRC, but Kinshasa insisted it would not accept the presence of Rwandan troops, accusing Kigali of supporting an insurgent rebel group.

“The third meeting we had in Nairobi was about having a force that Rwanda will not be a part of, which I have no problem with,” Kagame told state-run Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.

Victory will come when you have solved the crisis and these political problems, not because you cannot allow Rwanda (to be part of the force).

The great mineral-rich DRC is struggling to contain dozens of armed groups in the Middle East, many of which are a legacy of two regional wars a quarter of a century ago.

A recent flare-up of heavy fighting in the east has revived decades-old hostilities between Kinshasa and Kigali, in which the DRC accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 militia – claims denied by Kigali.

On Monday, Kagame echoed the denial, saying the rebels were Congolese.

“What is happening is an internal crisis affecting the persecution of Congolese people,” he said.

Relations between Kinshasa and Kigali have been strained since the massive arrival in the DRC of Rwandan Hutu accused of killing Tutsis during the 1994 genocide of Rwanda.

Ties had begun to improve after DRC President Felix Tshisekedi took office in 2019, but the recent flurry of violence linked to the M23 has rekindled tensions.

The M23 or “March 23 Movement” is a former Tutsi-dominated rebel group that was defeated in 2013, but took up arms again in late 2021.

But the militia has recently made a comeback, clashing with Congolese troops in fighting that has forced thousands of people to flee to neighboring Uganda.

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Kagame says ‘no problem’ Rwanda excluded from joint DRC power

Source link Kagame says ‘no problem’ Rwanda excluded from joint DRC power

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