Denis Mukwege, a renowned human rights activist in North Kivu province, and the elected provincial deputy of Rutshuru, Bonaventure Sherimpuwe have called for sanctions against Rwanda for the aggression against DR Congo.
M23 rebels manning Congolese side of Bunagana border (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)-min
The March 23 Movement (M23) rebels
have punched holes in a report compiled by the United Nations (UN) Group of Experts implicating Rwanda for aiding them.
On Thursday last week, the UN
released a 131-page report indicating that it has "solid evidence" showing that
Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebels in the Eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo’s territory of Rutshuru and providing it with
weapons and support.
The DR Congo government welcomed the report. The government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya noted that the truth always triumphs in the end. He also
said that DR Congo hopes that conclusions will be drawn quickly to put an end to
Rwanda’s interference and restore lasting peace. Denis Mukwege, a renowned human
rights activist in North Kivu province, and the elected
provincial deputy of Rutshuru, Bonaventure Sherimpuwe have called for sanctions
against Rwanda for the aggression against DR Congo.
However, rebels through their
political spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka, say that the report has flabbergasted the rebel group because it is full of false accusations. In an August 5th, 2022 report shared
released on Monday evening, Kanyuka describes the report as a plot orchestrated to appease the anger of the anti-United Nations Organization
Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which claimed the lives of 36 people.
The killings took place last month in Goma city where residents staged violent demonstrations calling for MUNUSCO's removal because of the failure to end militia violence for
decades. Kanyuka wonders why the UN expert group
released a report shortly after the expulsion of Mathias Gillmann, the MONUSCO
spokesperson from Congo. The development came after the UN soldiers shot dead two people as
they forcefully tried to enter Congo from Uganda through the Kasindi border.
Kanyuka queries why Rwanda and Uganda have always carried the burden of the Congolese government's failure to protect its citizens. He says that M23 refuses to be
used as a slain lamb for the inability and total failure of the Congolese
government and MONUSCO to restore peace and security in the country.
He also accuses the UN expert group of failing to reveal the murderous coalition of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda(FDRL), Nyatura and Mai Mai militias, who kill, rape, loot, extort, besiege
mines and later lend support to government troops and MONUSCO in an offensive
against M23. He says that for the UN group of experts to
accuse the M23 of gaining support from a foreign army is to deliberately undermine its organizational
capacity, discipline, and the total determination of its personnel to create
a secured space for all Congolese.
to Kanyuka, M23 comprises Congolese citizens who are only claiming their
Fighting between M23 rebels and
FARDC troops started in March this year. On June 13, the rebels captured the major Uganda-DR Congo border of Bunagana
and the neighboring areas forcing over 150 FARDC troops to flee to Uganda. The rebels claim that they are fighting bad leadership in DR Congo
based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination. Fighting has displaced more
than 160,000 civilians forcing them to flee Rutshuru. More than 40,000 fled to the Ugandan
side of the Kisoro district.