Rwanda National Congress
1200 G Street,
NW, Suite 800
Washington D.C. 20005
United States of America
For immediate release
Rwanda National Congress is very concerned by the deployment of Rwandan Defence Forces and Police in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique on 9 July 2021 ahead of the South African Development Community (SADC) own anticipated deployment for 15 July 2021. It is alleged that Rwandan forces will operate along with SADC forces to fight and contain an insurgency which started in the North Eastern Mozambican Province of Cabo Delgado in 2017 and made many civilian victims, including the recent attack in the town of Palma which caught Mozambican armed forces by surprise. Rwanda may also be assigned other operational issues including the security sector reform. Rwanda is not a member state of the SADC. It purports to have been invited by the Mozambican Government.
While RNC is cognisant of bilateral and multilateral relations that sovereign states may legitimately entertain, but it is raising its alarm that Rwandan policies abroad, since the ascension of the Rwandan Patriotic Front to power has been one of belligerence, most particularly in the Great Lakes Region with its invasion and partial occupation of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the provocative behaviour Rwanda has always entertained vis- a- vis its immediate neighbours, most especially Uganda and its attempted coup d’état in Burundi in 2015.
The most alarming concern, however, is that President Kagame’s regime consistent extra-territorial pursuit of Rwandan refugees. Most of these refugees have been granted asylum in Southern African countries including in the Republic of Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi. Rwanda has invested disproportionate amount of geopolitical effort to ensure that it reaches out and disturb all Rwandan refugees who are hosted by these states. General James Kabarebe, President Kagame’s Special Adviser on Security was quoted boasting that Rwanda deploy its agents to destabilise refugees in SADC.
Before 2010, Rwanda had only one diplomatic mission in Pretoria with jurisdiction for the whole of Southern Africa; since 2014, it has opened embassies in Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; and sealed alliances with Malawi. An uninformed mind would find in this springboard foreign policy as a normal exercise of Sovereignty State projecting power; on the contrary, it is a destabilizing expedition.
States in Southern Africa through their security agencies, including police, intelligence, military, and courts have witnessed many Rwandans being unapologetically killed, abducted, kidnapped or forcefully disappeared in operations that involved current Rwandan officials, including diplomatic personnel.
As people who also have right to life and stable livelihood, we strongly oppose Rwandan Military presence in Cabo Delgado, in Mozambique. We call upon the Mozambican authorities to disclose to the public the motives behind its overstepping of SADC arrangements to contain the insurgency in Cabo Delgado by allowing Rwandan Defence Forces and Police ahead of SADC own deployment.
We call upon SADC member states to use their own standby forces to contain the insurgency and not let the community to be a testing ground by power mongering President Kagame of Rwanda who is not driven by any humanitarian aspiration.
Pretoria 10 July 2021
Dr Etienne Mutabazi
Tel: +27 671172724
Email: [email protected]