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DRC-Rwanda Crisis: Accused of War Crimes in DRC and the Region and Increasingly Isolated by International Community Rwandan Government Appeals to UN Security Council

Paul Kagame's RDF Troops on the border with DRC in 2014

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Over the last  few weeks, the Rwandan government, led by dictaror General Paul Kagame, has been increasingly condemned and isolated by prominent World personalities and leaders, international organizations, and the international community. These actions have come as a shock to the Rwandan leader and  his government. In fact, until recently, few in the World leaders and international organizations dared to openly challenge the government of Rwanda for being the main actor behind the wars and related tragedies in the Great Lakes region of Africa. As a reaction to the increasing condemnation and isolations, on June 10, 2022, the Rwandan government sent a memorandum, of which AfroAmerica Network has received a copy, to the United Nations Security Council, accusing the international community and some countries of "incendiary statements, hate crimes, hate speech", and, shockingly  alledging "public incitement to genocide targeting Rwandans and Congolese who speak Kinyarwanda."

In the memo by Rwandan Permanent Representative Claver Gatete to the President of the UN  Security Council for June 2022, the Albania representative,  the Rwandan government has rambled on a list of complaints against the DRC government, army, and  international organizations and leaders.

In the following two points,  the Rwandan government claims that Rwandan and Congolese speaking Kinyarwanda have been targeted for the last 28 years in Eastern DRC:"

  1. In the past 28 years, the relationship between Rwanda and the DRC has gone through turbulent periods, mainly as a result of the presence in the eastern DRC of FDLR-FOCA genocidal forces and its affiliates, whose intention remains to overthrow the Government of Rwanda, and its intermittent collaboration with DRC Government Forces. This has been in violation of various bilateral, regional and international agreements and resolutions calling for their eradication.

  2. This problem has over time been compounded by the stigmatization of Kinyarwanda- speaking Congolese, who are deliberately labelled as Rwandans by a section of Congolese politicians. This has subsequently created a situation whereby thousands of Congolese refugees in Rwanda have practically been denied the right to return home and whenever there is a rebellion of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, it is conveniently blamed on Rwanda for political gains."

Observers and sources at the United Nations have pointed to a shocking fact. They argued that in the last 28 years, it is rather the Rwandan government and military, either directly, through proxy militias, or with alliance with corrupt Congolese leaders and military officers, that have targeted Rwandans and Congolese civilians, including those speaking Kinyarwanda.  Some of the crimes, including acts of genocide, committed by the Rwandan army in Eastern DRC,  have been documented in 2010 United Nations Mapping Report ( see here DRC-Rwanda: Congo President Felix Tshisekedi Declares Himself Ignorant of the Crimes Documented in UN Mapping Report Rejected by Rwandan Paul Kagame  and here  France-Africa Summit: Rwandan Paul Kagame warns the United States and The European Union against Giving him Lessons on Justice and Fairness and Rejects UN Mapping Report). 

According to the sources contacted by AfroAmerica Network at the UN, the memo from the Rwandan government is not surprising. They pointed to the fact that the Rwandan government was used to seeing many in the international community, including some powers,  closing eyes to or looking away from the horrrendous war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide committed by the Rwandan government and militias founded, funded by, armed by,  reinforced by, or acting as proxies of the Rwandan army.  

Hence, the latest stances, including the following, have created a shock for the Rwandan government and highlighted the increasing isolation from major powers and powerful international organizations and  the potential dire consequences to the Rwandan government and military:

  •  On Wednesday June 8, 2022, Belgium’s King Philippe, who is currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a historic six-day tour, openly condemned the Rwandan army for invading the country.  In his statements, he said that the situation in eastern Congo "cannot continue." and recalled that that the country of DRC has the right to defend itself and its integrity.
  • On June 9, 2022, the Congolese army, FARDC, accused the  Rwandan army of war crimes.
  • Many international organizations and Western countries have continued to call for de-escalation, while condemning, overtly or implicitly, the Rwandan government for being responsible for  the on-going wars, chaos,  and the humanitarian crises in the region.

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Is the Rwandan Government Playing both the Arsonist and the fire fighter ?

According to the sources and experts contacted by AfroAmerica Network, the memorandum of the Rwandan Government to the UN Security Council contains major flaws. The experts  and sources pointed to the following:

  1. How is Rwandan government claming  that there is a "public incitement to genocide targeting Rwandans and Congolese who speak Kinyarwanda," when over the last 28 years, according to the UN, Human Rights groups, and international observers, the Rwandan military is responsible of more than 6 millions civilians killed in Eastern DRC, most of them Kinyarwanda speaking? 
  2. How is Rwandan government accusing the DRC government military of "targeting Rwandans and Congolese who speak Kinyarwanda," at the same time accusing the FARDC of being allied with Rwandan rebels of FDLR-FOCA?
  3. How is Rwandan government requesting that the DRC stop all provocative acts seeking to suck Rwanda into the conflict in eastern DRC, but at same time recognizing that the Rwandan government has been behind several congolese rebels, including Congrès National Pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) and M23-Runiga faction, and supporting the leaders of these Congolese rebel groups and militia?

Is Rwandan Government Finally Feeling the Pressure of Isolation or Ready for Next Steps?

 According to AfroAmerica Network sources within the Rwandan and DRC governments, General Paul Kagame has seen his fears finallly beeing realized: he has been increasing isolated by the powers that have been closing eyes on his crimes in the region and is aware of the fact that DRC President  Felix Tshisekedi has increasingly moved beyond his early naivety and lack of experience to seeking new alliances and becoming a major player in the region.  

The latest statements and stances by the US Government, King Philippe, Prince Charles, UN representatives and leaders  and many prominent personalities against the Rwandan government's actions and plans in the region have been warning signs and appear to confirm the analysis by the experts.

In fact, in recent years, General Paul Kagame has felt the pressure and has started taking actions to prepare for the worst (France-Africa Summit: Rwandan Paul Kagame warns the United States and The European Union against Giving him Lessons on Justice and Fairness and Rejects UN Mapping Report) and  Why Did World Powers, Including the CommonWealth, European Union, the United States, and Others Unanimously Called Rwandan Government on Systematic Human Rights Abuses and Killings? and Africa - Uganda - Rwanda: Ugandan and Rwandan Longterm Dictators, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, Desperately Preparing their Son and Daughter for Power Inheritance) .

Currently, it is believed that among the leaders of the World super powers, only French President Emmannuel Macron has not yet abandonned Paul Kagame, mostly due to economic interests in Mozambique (see here Mozambique - SADC - Rwanda: SADC Takes Credit for Military Successes in Mozambique, Ignores Paul Kagame's Troop Deployment ...).

But for how long?

Meanwhile, protests have been going around Africa against Paul Kagame.  At the same time, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Ugandan Land Forces commander and the purported heir of the throne of his 77-year old father, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, and his father Yoweri Museveni have suddenly, after many years of real or faked disputes, rushed to the defense of the Rwandan dictator. Some experts have said that the sudden reactions of Yoweri Museveni and his son are part of a complex  plan for isolations.

However, according to other sources, the support for Paul Kagame is part of the  well crafted succession plan devised by the two dictators for their son and daughter (see Africa - Uganda - Rwanda: Ugandan and Rwandan Longterm Dictators, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, Desperately Preparing their Son and Daughter for Power Inheritance.)

 AfroAmerica Network is still closely following the situation.

 

@AfroAmerica Network 2022