DR Congo, Rwanda Crisis : The Way Out

Despite resolving not to take up arms and signing of several economic accords, both countries are now trading insults and accusations against each other.

Tension has resurfaced between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda following new clashes between the rebels of M23 and the Congolese army with thousands of people displaced in eastern Congo. For more than two weeks now, the DRC has suspended all flights of the Rwandan airline on its territory and detained two Rwandan soldiers, allegedly captured at the front alongside the M23 rebels. Though the soldiers have been released after the mediation of the Angolan President, Rwanda has refuted the claim evoking instead the kidnapping of its officers by her neighbour. 
But far from that, it is well known that tension between the two countries does not date today. For the past decade, Rwandan troops have invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo thrice (1996, 1998, 2004), orchestrating violence and instability that claimed millions of lives. Despite Rwanda’s refusal, the UN mission in Congo, MONUC, has aerial photos of well-armed non-Congolese soldiers in north-eastern Congo. Congolese living in the area say the soldiers are part of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF). On November 30, 2004, President Kagame after announcing that it was possible that military operations are on in the area, sent a letter to the UN Security Council to justify military operations in the Congo. 
In all, Rwanda claims to be threatened by remnants of the routed government army (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR), now ex-FAR, and by members of the genocidal Interahamwe militias who took refuge in Congo after their defeat in 1994. Several times, Rwanda has denounced other violations of its territory, without giving details. Had it not been pressure from the international community Rwanda would have already invaded the DRC again as it wields a very strong political, economic and military influence in the area through its local ally, the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-Goma (RCD-Goma). In recent months, the RCD-Goma has been weakened due to internal divisions and the loss of administrative and military control of South Kivu. The Rwandan military presence, even if it is only tempo...



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