The Rwandan army actually conducted operations in the eastern DRC in 2020. This is confirmed by the UN expert group responsible for ensuring compliance with the arms embargo, in its latest report published by the Security Council on 23 December. Operations in violation of this embargo, as neither Kinshasa nor Kigali have notified the UN.
Among the evidence presented for the existence of Rwanda’s military operations in the DRC in 2020 is a photo that the expert group says it has heard. In this photo, we see a Congolese soldier identified as Colonel Claude Rusimbi and 13 Rwandan soldiers. The photo was taken around May, when Colonel Rusimbi, according to experts, served as a liaison officer between the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and a Rwandan unit. in operation in North Kivu.
Other elements will prove this Rwandan commitment to operations against the Rwandan Hutu rebels: documents, aerial photographs and about twenty interviews with MONUSCO Congolese soldiers, researchers or members of civil society.
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However, this presence was pointed out by the FARDC Chief of Staff in April 2020. In a letter to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, he mentions a violation of the border and the installation of a Rwandan military camp in Kabara on Nyiragongo territory.
By October 2, 2020, according to the report, 60 members of the FDR (Rwandan Defense Force) with 18 machine guns and four rocket launchers were observed on Mount Rugomba in the Rutshuru area.
The DRC government is not under embargo, but any support in arms or foreign troops must be formally notified to the Sanctions Committee. However, when questioned by experts, the Rwandan government denied in writing the presence of troops on Congolese soil. The Congolese authorities, for their part, had not responded to the panel when the report was published.
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