By The Rwandan Analyst
“We are Congolese, not Rwandan,” he said M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma. but everyone knows them because it is not the first time that they destabilize the DRC once RCD, another time CNDP and M23 but it is the same person with multifaceted denominations like chameleons depending on the prevailing situation in terms of the politico-military and diplomatic chessboard.The armed conflict between M23 rebels and the DRC forces triggered a series of diplomatic approaches where lies and hypocrisy are combined in such a way that the international community cannot identify who is killing whom. This article analyzes the ins and outs of the invasions of the M23 rebellion, this time more muscular and equipped with military equipment worthy of a regular army. It goes without saying that we know who is pulling the strings.
DR Congo and Rwanda agree to reduce tensions over M23 rebels
Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo have agreed to a “de-escalation process” following one-day talks between their presidents, mediated by Angola, amid rising tensions over the activities of the M23 rebel group, the Congolese presidency said. The two countries will revive a Congo-Rwanda commission which will resume activities on July 12 in the Angolan capital, Luanda, the Congolese presidency said in a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday. It also called for a return to normal diplomatic relations between Kinshasa and Kigali, a cessation of hostilities and the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal” of the M23 rebel group from its positions in eastern DRC. Angolan President Joao Lourenco was appointed by the African Union to mediate talks. “I am pleased to announce that we have had positive results, in our view, in that we have agreed on a ceasefire, among other measures,” Lourenco said in remarks at the end of mini-tripartite summit attended by the DRC’s’ Felix Tshisekedi and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame in the Angolan capital Luanda.
There was no immediate word on the talks from Rwanda.
Rwanda and the DRC had traded angry statements stemming from allegations that Rwanda backs the M23, which is made up of mostly Tutsi fighters from the DRC. The M23 last month seized an important border post in their most sustained offensive since capturing swathes of territory in 2012-2013.Rwanda in turn accuses the DRC of supporting a group of rebels with members who allegedly took part in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Both countries deny the allegations. The DRC has accepted a proposal for an East African regional force to be deployed in its east to help control the violence, but only if Rwanda does not take part.The fighting has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes in an area that has had little respite from conflict since Rwanda and neighboring Uganda invaded in 1996, citing threats from local militia groups. About 170,000 people have been displaced in the weeks since M23 resurfaced in eastern DRC. Wednesday’s summit called for the return of all refugees to their countries of origin, according to the statement from the Congolese presidency.
The M23 rejects ceasefire deal signed between Congo and Rwanda
Clashes broke out in Eastern Congo on Thursday between the military and M3 after the rebel group said that a ceasefire deal signed the previous day was “irrelevant.” “We are Congolese, not Rwandan,” he said M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma. “If there’s a cease-fire, it can only be between us and the Congolese government.”The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda agreed to a “de-escalation process” to curb the fighting and violence along their shared eastern border on Wednesday. The agreement included a withdrawal of M23 fighters from Congo. “Only the M23 can sign the cease-fire with the government,” Ngoma added. New clashes broke out after Congolese groups attacked M23’s position around Kanyabusoro, according to the spokesman. Residents in the area were forced to flee their homes. Congo on Wednesday agreed to a six-goal plan for de-escalating violence, AFP reported. Other measures involved setting up a joint DRC-Rwanda committee.
A ‘roadmap’ to restore diplomatic ties
AFP specified some goals of the roadmap, with one of them being: “Defeat FDLR and its splinter groups which are at the origin of tensions between Rwanda and DRC and play a major role in the insecurity of the DRC in order to ensure that the threat to security ceases completely.” The Congolese presidency asked that the M23 cease hostilities under the roadmap, saying the “exploitation of natural resources in the region must be done in strict respect of the sovereignty of states,” AFP reported as being another goal.
Tensions between DRC and Rwanda
Tensions especially flared in March 2022 in eastern DRC after M23 rebels, after a decade of relative calm, attacked Congolese army positions near the border between Uganda and Rwanda.Congo saw people fleeing to its towns for safety, with the government in Kinshasa blaming Rwanda for aiding M23 rebels, a largely ethnic Tutsi group that accuses the Congolese government of not incorporating more fighters in the Congolese army as part of a 2009 agreement.Tensions kept rising as M23 rebels kept up their offensive in weeks that followed, either encircling key cities like the provincial capital Goma or capturing strategic towns like Bunagana on the Congolese-Uganda border. Rwanda has denied claims of aiding M23 rebels and has accused Congo’s army of fighting alongside the FDLR, an armed group mainly comprised of ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda after the 1994 genocide.
In May, Congo suspended RwandAir flights and summoned Rwanda’s ambassador to express disapproval. At the end of May, Rwanda’s foreign minister told reporters it would “not sit idly by” if attacks continued along the border.
At the end of June, the United Nations Security Council also released a statement and said that the alarming resurgence of armed groups was “threatening the security and stability of the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Analysis: the power of lies
What is the identity of the M 23 rebels? the dual nationality of these rebels is a dual sword that they exploit according to occasional interests.
The role of Kigali
The Democratic Republic of Congo accuses Rwanda of backing the rebel group M23. According to the DRC’s government, Rwanda is seeking to cause instability to be able to exploit the region’s mineral riches. Still, Kigali denies having a hand in the current violence but the group, and its antecedents, have all been led by Tutsi officers, whose mobilizing power draws on the discrimination North Kivu’s Tutsis have faced due to their Rwandan roots. The role of Rwanda Defence Forces in the exacerbation of attacks by Tutsi rebellions in eastern DRC is no longer questionable. The investigations carried out on this question confirm it and this country could not provide tangible proofs supporting its allegations. given that before their defeat in 2012, the intercepted communications reported military orders emanating from the general staff of the Rwandan defense forces and that the satellites had detected the crossing points of the Rwandan troops and weapons at the Rwandan-Congolese borders. Better still, by accepting to meet his peer Tshisekedi in Angola, the Rwandan President automatically recognizes the significant implication of his country in the resurgence of M23 attacks and signing the cease fire agreement involves that he was committed to stop the rebels he is backing in accordance with the principle of international law”pacta sunt servanda” meaning that obligations consented must be performed as such.
The double position of Rwanda
If the M23 is supported by the Rwandan forces or if its soldiers come from the Rwandan army, the Rwandan head of state is better placed to order them to stop the fighting and it is in this capacity that the RDC invited him to negotiations and expected him to commit to de-escalation. On the other hand. The rebel group called the de-escalation deal between DRC and Rwanda “irrelevant” amid new clashes with Congo’s military. M23 also said it would only negotiate with Kinshasa. If the rebels reject this agreement and claim that they are not represented in the peace talks, especially by focusing on their Congolese and non-Rwandan origin, the diplomatic lie that Rwanda has always exploited gains ground and risks costing the lives of the Congolese civilian population, daily object of war crimes committed by the armed groups that abound in the east of this giant country.
FDLR as justification for all these invasions
The daily speeches addressed to the Rwandan population and the army reports report that this rebellion has been significantly weakened because many of its members have returned to the country and the rehabilitation centers report thousands of former combatants who have benefited from training on civic education with a view to their reintegration into Rwandan society. However, when it comes to justifying the official or unofficial presence of Rwandan forces in the eastern region of the DRC, the Rwandan state resurrects this rebel force and attributes to it the military potentials that it really does not have, pretends lyingly that it is the reason why they are there just in a bid to deter this threatening rebellion and the military tactic of exporting the war that the head of the Rwandan state has always praised is then in the spotlight.
The vast mineral-rich Congo is struggling to contain dozens of armed groups in the volatile east and the states that support them are Uganda and Rwanda especially since they are the detachments of their respective armies deployed there to protect the works of extraction of the minerals of which this country abounds. when they are finally unearthed and identified, they invent pretexts like prevention of the internal insecurity of their country; they go until throwing bombs on their own territories to impute them to the Congolese forces. The recent bombardments of some sectors of the district of Musanze in Rwanda are the illustration of this phenomenon but some members of the Rwandan army who took part in this charade told us about this new stratagem. The international community has a not easy task because these mineral thieves have sly and inexhaustible military-diplomatic strategies. And the DRC, which daily suffers from it, must be aware of it to get out of this mess.