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Thursday, February 23, 2017
- UNITED NATIONS, 28 Jun – Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs has strongly denied allegations that the Rwandan government is providing support to mutineers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Rwanda is not in any way supporting any armed group in the region,” Mushikiwabo said at the Jun. 25 U.N. press conference held to “clear the air” around the security situation in DRC.
The Congolese authorities recently sent a letter to the Security Council asking the U.N. to “denounce the violation of the arms embargo and put pressure on Rwanda to halt any support to Bosco Ntaganda and the M23 mutineers.”
The Rwandan government described the letter as “regrettable” since the respective administrations of the two countries are engaged in dialogue and their security organs have met several times.
“It’s very important for those of us who have been there before and who want peace to prevail not to allow for a war of words, which is now clearly starting to harm innocent people in the region,” Mushikiwabo explained.
She was also highly critical of the UN peacekeeping Mission in DRC, titled MONUSCO. “The “S” of MONUSCO stands for stabilization” she said, emphasizing the need for “a serious re-examination” of the mission.
Thirteen years have passed since the mission began and according to Mushikiwabo goals have not been achieved. She suggested that the Security Council demand a periodic evaluation of its results when the mission’s mandate is reviewed.
Major Patrick Karuretwa, Security Adviser to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, said: “MONUSCO would probably be more useful in supporting the only thing that has ever brought peace in the region, which is Congolese and Rwandan people sitting and taking a hard look at what the issues are.”
He deemed some human rights organizations to be “pushing in the wrong direction”, concentrating on armed groups and allegations and shifting the focus from the issues at the heart of the conflict.
Human Rights Watch was accused of spreading false claims in a report supporting allegations of the Rwandan military’s hand in the mutiny in eastern DRC.
Mushikiwabo endorsed the work of human rights organizations but deemed the conduct of Human Rights Watch to be irresponsible.
“There is a history between Rwanda and Human Rights Watch” she said, “It has to do with the fact that some of these organizations think “this is Africa you just dictate and people should obey.”