CrisisWatch Rwanda

Unchanged Situation

Govt continued bellicose rhetoric against DR Congo (DRC), as leaked UN report suggested Kigali’s heavy involvement in neighbour’s security crisis; diplomatic initiatives remained moribund.

Kigali maintained criticism of Kinshasa govt. During 20 June press interview, President Kagame accused Congolese President Tshisekedi of reviving “genocidal ideology” targeting Congolese Tutsis and asserted govt “ready” to engage in conflict with DRC, but refused to confirm presence of Rwandan troops in neighbouring country; comments came in response to Tshisekedi’s repeated accusations since Dec 2022 of Rwanda’s support to Congolese M23 rebels and involvement in “genocide” in eastern DRC. UN Panel of Experts report leaked early June reiterated Rwandan military involvement in DRC, reporting Kigali had at least 4,000 troops in North Kivu province; report also highlighted increased Rwandan support for Burundian RED-Tabara rebels following Burundi’s troop deployment in DRC. 

Regional diplomacy continued to stall. Luanda process to bring DRC and Rwanda to negotiating table remained moribund with little sign of improvement; Angolan President João Lourenço 27 June said he was negotiating to organise meeting between Kagame and Tshisekedi “very soon”, but Congolese PM Judith Suminwa same day during visit to displacement camp in eastern DRC said Kinshasa would not negotiate with Kigali.

In another important development. National Electoral Commission 14 June announced Kagame, Frank Habineza of Democratic Green Party and independent Philippe Mpayimana as candidates for 15 July presidential election.

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