DRC: The Seth Sendashonga Institute Denounces Kagame’s Warmongering Ambitions

Seth Sendashonga

Brussels, June 29, 2024 – The Institut Seth Sendashonga pour la Citoyenneté Démocratique (ISCID asbl) through its president Jean-Claude Kabagema, has issued a press release condemning the war threat posed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This statement follows Kagame’s comments on France 24, repeated during his electoral meetings, asserting that Rwanda is ready to go to war with the DRC.

For thirty years, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) led by Paul Kagame has monopolized power in Rwanda, employing political assassinations and other tactics to maintain a climate of terror. The last decade has seen Rwanda involved in continuous conflicts, particularly in the North Kivu province under the guise of M23 rebels. This perpetual war policy has cost many lives and plunged the region into instability.

The Kigali regime now appears to be preparing for an open war against the DRC. ISCID asbl expresses deep concern over this escalation, emphasizing that the Rwandan people, oppressed for decades, are unable to oppose this warmongering policy, which will only worsen their situation and damage relations with their neighbors.

The tensions between Rwanda and the DRC are rooted in the RPF’s policy of enriching itself through the plundering of its neighbor’s mineral resources. For over twenty-five years, Rwanda has been among the world’s top exporters of precious stones and strategic minerals. Kagame’s regime has often used pretexts such as protecting Congolese Tutsis to justify its military interventions, while the real aim is the exploitation of the DRC’s resources.

The Congolese government, under President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, has shown unwavering determination in fighting the rebels used by the Rwandan regime in these plundering maneuvers. This resistance could threaten the Rwandan economy and precipitate the fall of Kagame’s regime, prompting Kigali to consider open war as a last resort.

Some analysts believe that Kagame might aim to quickly capture border cities like Goma and Bukavu to force the Kinshasa government into negotiations. An open war would then be a continuation of the M23’s confrontations, which have recently turned in favor of the Congolese government.

The Seth Sendashonga Institute calls on Rwandans and all peace-loving people to denounce this war policy. It is crucial to question what benefits Rwandans would gain from a conflict with their Congolese neighbors, especially when the border with Burundi has been closed for months. The countries of the Great Lakes region should invest in job-creating projects instead of heavy armament.

In this election preparation period in Rwanda, these issues deserve to be debated, even though the elections are merely a ritual without real freedom of expression or choice for the population. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the end of the war that mourned Rwanda, it is imperative to discuss these pressing problems to find sustainable solutions.

The Seth Sendashonga Institute urges deep reflection and concrete actions to dismantle Kagame’s oppressive dictatorship and promote lasting peace in the Great Lakes region.