Belgium Urges DR Congo to File a Lawsuit Against Rwanda for Boundary Violations

Belgium has officially called on the Congolese government to file a complaint against Rwanda at international legal institutions for acts of aggression. This statement was made by the Belgian Ambassador in Kinshasa, Roxane de Bilderling, during a press briefing held in Goma on Friday, April 19.

Ambassador de Bilderling emphasized the principle of the inviolability of national borders as recognized by international legal instruments. She noted that Belgium has already condemned the Rwandan aggression towards the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), highlighting the Rwandan military’s presence on Congolese soil and extrajudicial killings that have occurred as a result.

“I want to remind everyone that we have condemned the presence of Rwandan troops in Congo. We have explicitly demanded Rwanda to withdraw these troops and to cease their support to M23. This has been clearly stated during our minister’s visit to Kigali,” stated de Bilderling.

However, according to the Ambassador, mere condemnation is insufficient. “A way to apply pressure is for Congo to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice regarding the disrespect for international borders. This is not unprecedented; Congo has previously taken similar action against other countries like Uganda, resulting in favorable rulings and reparations for damages incurred,” she explained.

De Bilderling referenced reports from UN investigators which confirm the presence of Rwandan troops on Congolese territory, arguing that this substantiates grounds for the DRC to pursue legal action at the International Court of Justice.

Additionally, Roxane de Bilderling suggested a diplomatic and political solution to resolve the ongoing security crisis between the conflicting parties in the DRC.

The Ambassador was part of a significant delegation comprising diplomats and national and international humanitarian NGOs, led by the Humanitarian Coordinator in the DRC, Bruno Lemarquis. Their mission focused on assessing the humanitarian situation in the eastern regions of the DRC, an area long troubled by conflict and instability.