EU calls on Rwanda to cease supporting M23 rebels in DR Congo

The European Union on Saturday known as on Rwanda to cease supporting the M23 insurgent group, which has captured elements of the territory in North Kivu province in neighboring DR Congo.

The Democratic Republic of Congo – together with the US and a number of other European international locations – has repeatedly accused its smaller Central African neighbor Rwanda of supporting M23, though Kigali denies the accusation.

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The Tutsi insurgent group has in latest months superior to inside just a few dozen kilometers of the provincial capital, Goma.

Learn: Calm returns to japanese DRC over Christmas as Kenyan troops step up patrols

EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell stated on Saturday that the European bloc had known as on Rwanda to “stop supporting M23 and use all means to pressure M23 to comply with the decisions taken by the EAC (East African Community)” and at a summit in November in Angola.

“It also strongly urges all states in the region to prevent the provision of any support to armed groups active in the DRC,” Borrell stated.

Shield the civilian inhabitants

He known as on Kinshasa to “take all necessary measures to protect the civilian population on its territory”.

Beneath heavy worldwide stress to disarm, M23 joined a ceremony final week at hand over the strategic city of Kibumba to an East African navy power as a “goodwill gesture” for peace.

The EAC additionally stated the group needed to withdraw to the border between DRC, Uganda and Rwanda.

Nonetheless, the Congolese military instantly known as the give up of Kibumba a “hoax”.

Borrell’s feedback got here after a UN skilled report on DR Congo indicated it had gathered proof of “direct intervention” by Rwandan protection forces inside DRC territory between not less than November 2021 and final October.

Additionally learn: Rebels kidnap civilians in DR Congo clashes, native sources say

The skilled report says Rwandan troops launched operations to bolster M23 towards the primarily Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) – notably by offering weapons, ammunition and uniforms.

Kigali sees the FDLR as a risk that warrants intervention inside the DRC.

Rwanda has additionally accused the Democratic Republic of Congo – the place presidential elections are due subsequent December – of utilizing the battle for political functions in addition to “fabricating” a bloodbath in November of not less than 131 civilians.

A UN investigation blamed the deaths on M23 rebels.

Earlier than the bloodbath, Angola had brokered peace talks aimed toward paving the best way for a ceasefire.

Kinshasa calls for sanctions

In an announcement on Saturday, Kinshasa welcomed the findings of the UN specialists, which it stated “put an end to the lies and manipulations” in Rwanda.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, it known as on the UN Safety Council to assessment the skilled report with a view to attainable sanctions towards Rwanda.

Additionally learn: Lethal clashes between militias, M23 rebels erupt in DR Congo

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, in the meantime, blamed Kinshasa for the chaos in its war-torn japanese areas in his New Yr’s handle.

“After spending tens of billions of dollars on peacekeeping over the past two decades, the security situation in eastern Congo is worse than ever,” Kagame stated in an announcement on Saturday.

“To clarify this failure, some within the worldwide neighborhood blame Rwanda, though they know full nicely that the actual duty lies primarily with the DRC authorities.

“It is high time that the unjustified defamation of Rwanda ends.”

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