DRC accuses Rwanda of blackmail over refugees

Friday, January 13th, 2023 11:20 | By
DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kinshasa, Thursday

The Democratic Republic of Congo has condemned Rwanda for saying it will no longer take in people fleeing conflict in the eastern part of DR Congo..

A spokesman for the Congolese government said the remarks by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame proved that human rights were of no value to him.

He accused Kigali of blackmailing the international community by using refugees for political purposes.

Patrick Muyaya said even though President Kagame had attempted to walk back on his remarks on the subject, he had “revealed his true intentions”.

More than 70,000 Congolese have crossed to Rwanda, fleeing a conflict between the government and the M23 rebels, which the international community says is supported by Rwanda. Kigali denies the claim.

Eastern Congo is scarred by dozens of conflicts, mostly over mineral resources.

Kigali has repeatedly blamed Kinshasa for the crisis and accused the international community of turning a blind eye to the DRC’s alleged support for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a mainly Rwandan Hutu rebel movement implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Kigali sees the FDLR as a threat that justifies incursions into the DRC.

Rwanda has also accused the DRC – where presidential elections are due this December – of using the conflict for political purposes as well as of “fabricating” a November massacre of at least 131 civilians. A UN probe blamed the deaths on M23 rebels.

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