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WAR IN THE EAST: Rwanda Strongly Opposes AU Support for SADC Mission to DRC

Rwanda has strongly opposed the African Union (AU) support for the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC) and warned that that the support will only exacerbate the conflict in east where the M23 Rebels have occupied a number of territories.

In a correspondence dated Sunday, 3rd March 2024 to the Chairperson of the AU, Moussa Faki, Rwanda said it would try to block possible support that the continental organization and other strategic partners could provide to the SAMIDRC.

“Fights alongside a FARDC-led coalition that includes the genocidal forces of the FDLR, local ethnic armed groups allied with the FDLR under the leadership of Wazalendo, and the Burundian armed forces under a bilateral agreement, as well as European mercenaries and private military security companies” it states.

Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta described the SAMIDRC as an offensive force “in coalition” with the Congolese elements and cannot replace a political process which, according to him, is blocked by the government of the DRC.

“Any support from the African Union for the SAMIDRC would also imply supporting the offensive stance of the DRC government and jeopardize the peaceful resolution of the decades-long crisis in the DRC,” warns Biruta.

Biruta also encouraged members of the AU Peace and Security Council to pay a visit to the Great Lakes region to witness the reality on the ground and gain a true insight into the ongoing conflict.

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