Fault lines

DRC / Rwanda / Uganda: 10 key moments in a complicated relationship

By Musinguzi Blanshe

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Posted on June 2, 2022 10:59

Congolese soldiers advance against the M23 rebels near the Rumangabo military base in Runyoni
Congolese soldiers advance against the M23 rebels near the Rumangabo military base in Runyoni, 58 km (36 miles) north of Goma, October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe

Relations between DRC and Rwanda have hit the lowest point of the Félix Tshisekedi era as Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting the resurgent M-23 movement rebels who have been wreaking havoc across eastern Congo. 

This past weekend, the DRC suspended RwandAir flights into the country and summoned Rwanda’s ambassador to the country. To prove its claims that Rwanda was backing the rebels, the DRC army paraded two Rwandan soldiers who it claims were arrested near the border. With anti-Rwanda sentiment running high, Congolese demonstrators protested outside the Rwandan embassy in Kinshasa.

Rwanda fired back by accusing the Congolese military of conspiring with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to attack and kidnap the soldiers. The ethnic Hutu group includes some of the original perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

“Over the years, [DRC officials] have sanitised this genocidal armed group to the extent that the FDLR are currently co-located, and fighting alongside” the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta.


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