The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been a subject of international concern for years. Recently, a mid-term report by the United Nations Group of Experts sheds new light on the intricate dynamics of this conflict, particularly highlighting the role of the Rwandan army (RDF). This crucial document, expected to be officially released in January, has already been previewed by Jambonews, thanks to access provided by a Rwandan diplomatic source.
The report uncovers substantial evidence of RDF’s direct involvement in the DRC conflict, especially in supporting the M23, a known terrorist organization. This revelation is significant as it corroborates the suspicions and accusations that have been circulating since 2022. Previous reports, including a UN report published in June 2023 and the DRC’s own “White Papers on M23 Crimes,” have repeatedly pointed towards Rwanda’s support for M23, but this latest document offers more concrete proof.
One of the key findings in the report is the training of M23 forces at the RDF Military Academy in Gako, Rwanda, between May and June 2023. This aligns with aerial and photographic evidence indicating RDF’s troop movements and interventions in Congolese territories like Masisi and Rutshuru.
Furthermore, the report discusses the deployment of RDF soldiers, including former Rwandan rebels, across various territories in the DRC. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of demobilization and reintegration programs funded by the UN and Rwanda’s bilateral partners. The involvement of these previously demobilized rebels in the conflict underlines the complexity of achieving lasting peace in the region.
The United States’ role in negotiating a ceasefire, despite its frequent violations by M23, and the imposition of sanctions against Rwanda for recruiting child soldiers further complicate the geopolitical landscape. These actions by the U.S. underscore the severity of human rights violations and the international community’s growing concern over the situation.
The implications of these findings are far-reaching, calling into question Rwanda’s motivations and the broader impact on regional security and sovereignty. The report, thus, becomes a critical piece of evidence for the international community, potentially leading to diplomatic, economic, or military actions against Rwanda to halt its support for M23 and restore peace in the DRC.