The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) president Felix Antoine Tshisekedi has fired back to President Paul Kagame’s accusations that Kinshasa continued to violate his country’s territorial integrity.
Tension between Rwanda and DRC continued to rise despite efforts to defuse the ongoing conflict between the two East African countries through the EAC led dialogue.
President Paul Kagame accused DRC of firing artillery across a border into Rwanda last week, “We have been keeping quiet about some things …violations, when you see a statement somewhere saying that territorial integrity of Congo must be respected I totally agree but so must Rwanda’s territorial integrity,” said president Paul Kagame.
Earlier last week East African Community released a statement calling for the territorial integrity of DRC be respected, calling for the M23 rebels to ceasefire and withdraw from the captured territories.
With DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 to destabilize the new member of EAC, President Felix Tshisekedi while addressing the 250 youth delegates at ‘Cite de l’union Africaine’ on Sunday, said that president Kagame is the problem and not Rwandans.
“We don’t see Rwandese as enemies but the Rwandan regime with Paul Kagame at the helm they are the enemies of DRC,” said president Tshisekedi.
“Rwandans are our brothers and sisters and they need our help because they are muzzled they need our help to liberate them….”
Relation between Rwanda and DRC deteriorated significantly after DRC accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels who have captured several territories of the country. Despite ongoing dialogue, DRC says it won’t negotiate with the M23 rebels that it labelled as terrorists.
“We are moving in the right truck and the East African Community is working hard so that DRC may recover peace,” said Ezekiel Nibigira the Burundi minister of EAC affairs and chairman of EAC council of ministers.
Earlier this year East African Community member states approved the deployment of the EAC forces in DRC to restore peace and stability, an ultimatum was given to the M23 rebels to lay down weapons and withdraw from captured territories.
An EAC led dialogue is facilitated by former Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta seeking to bring all stakeholders on the table to find a long lasting peace in the Eastern DRC.
“I have no doubt in my mind we are going to have peace in eastern DRC, efforts are being done we are all working together to ensure the eastern DRC remains peaceful for the benefit of the East Africans,” said the EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki.