Eastern DRC: Rwanda opposes AU support for SAMIDRC

In a correspondence addressed on Sunday March 3 to the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki, Rwanda opposed the continental organization’s support for the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC). The Kagame administration has estimated that the support envisaged by the AU Peace and Security Council for the SADC military force will only exacerbate the conflict in eastern DRC, where the M23- RDF occupies a few localities.

After opposing UN support for the SAMIDRC, Kigali seized Moussa Faki to try to block possible support that the African Union and other strategic partners could provide to the SAMIDRC which, he denounces , “fights alongside a FARDC-led coalition that includes the genocidal forces of the FDLR, local ethnic armed groups allied with the FDLR under the leadership of Wazalendo, and the Burundian armed forces under a bilateral agreement , as well as European mercenaries and private military security companies.”

For Vincent Biruta, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, the SAMIDRC as an offensive force “in coalition” with these elements, cannot replace a political process which, according to him, is blocked by the government of the DRC.

“Therefore, the African Union is requested not to authorize or fund the SAMIDRC,” he wrote to the chairperson of the African Union Commission, accusing the SADC force of supporting the “belligerent stance” of the Congolese government, focusing on a military solution “contrary to the spirit of all regional peace initiatives, including the EAC-led Nairobi Process and the Angola-led Luanda Process”.

“Any support from the African Union for the SAMIDRC would also imply supporting the offensive stance of the DRC government and jeopardize the peaceful resolution of the decades-long crisis in the DRC,” warns Biruta, who asks Faki to use his good offices to encourage the government of the DRC to seek a peaceful solution within the framework of the Nairobi and Luanda processes.

In this context, he encouraged members of the AU Peace and Security Council to pay a visit to the Great Lakes region to witness the reality on the ground and gain a true insight into the ongoing conflict.

“The government of Rwanda wishes to reiterate its availability to play its role in supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the DRC,” he assured, affirming that the conflict has persisted in eastern DRC because the international community has deliberately ignored its root causes, including the support and maintenance of Rwandan genocidal forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the refusal to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Congolese refugees scattered across the region.

In a statement made on Monday March 4, 2024, the European Union reaffirmed its continued support for the Luanda and Nairobi processes. For the EU, “There is no military solution to this crisis, only a political solution”.

This solution must be obtained, insisted Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, through an inclusive dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda to tackle the root causes of the conflict, aiming to implement the decisions taken within the framework of the regional peace initiatives and to guarantee respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of all countries in the region.

This article is originally published on mediacongo.net

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