By David Himbara
The UN Group of Experts have confirmed that the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) are operating in DR Congo. This is revealed in the report by the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic, submitted to the President of the UN Security Council on December 23, 2020.
Among the evidence cited is the letter dated April 22, 2020, in which the Congolese Army Chief of Staff denounced the presence of RDF in DR Congo to the Commander of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism. The letter referred to a violation of the Rwanda-DR Congo border by RDF which set up a camp in Kabara, Nyiragongo territory, North Kivu. The presence of RDF in Nyiragongo, Rutshuru and Masisi territories was also confirmed by defence and security officers, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) sources, members of civil society, and researchers.
The UN Group of Experts cite other cases. For example, on October 2, 2020, 60 RDF members carrying 18 PKM machine guns and four rocket-propelled grenade launchers were operating near Mount Rugomba, in Rutshuru territory.
The UN Group of Experts conclude that the RDF’s military operations in DR Congo are a violation of the UN’s sanctions regime. Stay tuned.