CrisisWatch Rwanda

Unchanged Situation

Kigali and Kinshasa continued to trade blame for eastern DR Congo violence amid alleged border post clash and deployment of hundreds of troops by Rwanda.

Tensions continued to run high between Kigali and Kinshasa. Rwandan military 15 Feb said its troops briefly exchanged fire with a dozen Congolese soldiers who entered neutral zone in western district of Rusizi and opened fire at Rwandan border post, condemned “act of provocation”. Congolese authorities immediately denied entering neutral zone, said clashes took place between its military and “bandits” near border with Rwanda in Bukavu city, South Kivu province. Congolese army 16 Feb accused Rwandan army of deploying 350 troops to North Kivu to reinforce M23 positions on “western axis”. President Kagame continued to deny Rwanda’s support for M23, and 22 Feb argued that Kinshasa had “crossed the red line” by collaborating with Hutu-led Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia. Kigali 27 Feb announced reinforcing security along border with DR Congo (DRC), claiming that Kinshasa is “bellicose” and is massing military hardware and foreign mercenaries along Rwandan border.

Regional and international efforts to resolve crisis continued. Kagame and Congolese President Tshisekedi 4 Feb met in Burundi for East African Community Summit, held first bilateral meeting since UN General Assembly in Sept 2022, but failed to break new ground on M23 issue. European Union 14 Feb blamed Rwanda and DR Congo for ignoring regional peace initiatives, urging “Rwanda to cease its support to the M23” and “DRC to cease all cooperation” with armed groups, “in particular the FDLR”.

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In The News

20 Jun 2022
The tensions between these two countries [DRC and Rwanda] could destabilise a region that’s already facing political instability. The Guardian

Nelleke van de Walle

Project Director, Great Lakes
1 Jun 2022
What could be challenging is if Rwanda becomes involved on the military front [in Congo’s east]. Washington Post

Nelleke van de Walle

Project Director, Great Lakes
12 Oct 2018
Seeking the leadership of the Francophonie is clearly part of Rwanda's goal for a greater continental and global role. France 24

Elissa Jobson

Chief of Advocacy
24 Jul 2017
It’s been essentially the Paul Kagame show [in Rwanda] for the last two decades, and not too many people see that changing. Voice of America

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa

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