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DRC Foreign Ministry to Summon Rwandan Ambassador to Explain M23 Support

Patrick Muyaya, the Congolese government spokesperson, says that the Rwandan ambassador to DR Congo has to explain the involvement of their troops in the attack.
Arrested soldiers DRC argues they belong to Rwanda Defense Force (RDF)
DRC's Foreign Affairs Ministry plans to summon Rwanda's ambassador to explain the presence of Rwandan soldiers in the ranks of the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, the Eastern part of the country, according to a government spokesperson, Patrick Muyaya.

The M23 rebels staged an attack in the hills of Runyonyi and Tchanzu in Sabyino mountains of the Virunga ranges, about four kilometres to Uganda- DR Congo border of Bunagana in Kisoro district on Monday morning forcing thousands of Congolese nationals from Mukinga, Rubona, and Tcheya villages to flee to Uganda and Rutchuru town in DRC. 

The fighting, which had ceased on Monday evening resumed on Tuesday around 12:30 PM in the hills of Mukiharo-Bunagana, three kilometers to the main border of Uganda-DRC. This forced locals and refugees to flee Bunagana town council toNyakinama sub-county. 

The DRC government accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels. In his statement issued on Tuesday, General Sylvain Ekenge, the spokesperson for the military governor of North Kivu, says that Rwanda is behind the attacks with intention of causing insecurity in Eastern DRC. 

Ekenge explains that during the fighting on Monday, the Congolese army captured two Rwandan soldiers who identified themselves as Warrant Officer Jean-Pierre Habyarimana and Private John Uwajeneza from the 65th Battalion of the 402nd Brigade of the Rwanda Defense Forces based in Jarama at the Kibungo military camp. 

Patrick Muyaya, the Congolese government spokesperson, says that the Rwandan ambassador to  DR Congo has to explain the involvement of their troops in the attack. "As of tomorrow in relation to the assertions that the army has made, my colleague from Foreign Affairs will invite the Rwandan ambassador accredited to the DRC to come and give explanations on this affair and see to what extent we can permanently solve this problem with M23, this residual group, which continues to sow terror and desolation in this part of the country”, said Muyaya.

He also says that the DRC government condemns the new M23 incursion into Chanzu and Runyoyi in North Kivu province. “I believe that this first incursion must be condemned because it is not the first time. Last year, there were attacks of this kind. The army which monitors and documents the elements on the ground provided us with the documents. We condemn this attitude. We think it is time to put an end to this hypocrisy or this form of complicity that would exist between the M23 and the Rwandan government. Because we want to look at Rwanda as a partner”, adds Muyaya.

Rwanda has strongly denied any involvement or providing any support to the M23 rebels in a statement released on Tuesday morning. In the signed statement, FrançoisHabitegeko, the governor of the western province of Rwanda, says that Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) are in no way involved in "belligerent activities across the DRC". 

He also says that the captured soldiers are not in the records of RDF.  Rwanda has called for a Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) to investigate the allegations.