Kigali, Rwanda: The government of Rwanda has distanced it’s self from allegations by DR Congo that Rwandans arrested in Kinshasa were planning to shoot down a plane carrying the Congolese president.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Rwanda described the allegations by the Congolese deputy Interior Minister, Mr Jean-Claude Molipe Mandongo, as a deliberate attempt to further inflame Congolese public opinion.
“In an ominous reference to the Genocide in Rwanda, officials at Tuesday’s press briefing accused Rwandan detainees of planning to shoot down a plane carrying the Congolese President as also alluded to further arrests of more people linked to African Health Development Organisation (AHDO) – a deliberate attempt to further inflame Congolese opinion,” a statement by the Office of the Rwanda government spokesperson reads in part.
The DR Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels. Rwanda too accuses DR Congo of supporting FDRL (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), a Rwanda rebel group. Since this year started, M23 rebels have seized several towns and border points in Eastern DR Congo.
Last week, Rwandan nationals Dr Juvenal Nshimiyimana and Mr Moses Mushabe were arrested by the DR Congo government in Kinshasa, the capital city of DR Congo.
The Congolese authorities accused the duo and others of buying a plot near the main airport in Kinshasa where they would allegedly target the presidential plane carrying President Felix Tshisekedi.
Rwanda’s government confirmed that two of the arrested people are their citizens working for African Health Development Organisation and have been in detention since August 30, but were paraded before the media last week to trigger ethnic violence against Kinyarwanda speakers in DR Congo.
“We urge leaders in the DR Congo to deescalate the hateful rhetoric and turn back from the path they seem to be choosing. The International community, including those who insist on coddling the DR CongoThe International community, including those who insist on coddling the DR Congo leaders, should take note and hold DR Congo officials accountable for this escalation,” the Rwanda statement reads in part.
Any attempt to assassinate the head of state is a big issue in DR Congo given the fact that they have lost one former president in such a manner. Last year, the East African Community Regional Forces were deployed in Goma City, DR Congo to prevent the escalation of tension. The regional force has so far occupied Kibumba Town after M23 rebels withdrew from it.
The commander of the regional force, Maj Gen Jeff Nyagah, said on Friday that M23 rebels have agreed to withdraw from another Congolese township, Rumagambo, by Thursday and later Kishishe township where the rebels allegedly massacred more than 130 people in November last year.
The insecurity in Eastern DR Congo was among the issues that dominated the end-of-year addresses of Rwanda President Paul Kagame, President Museveni and Kenya’s President William Ruto.
President Kagame said he is committed to finding a solution to insecurity in Eastern DR Congo, but he warned that they will not watch FDLR carry out cross-border attacks from DR Congo.
“Of course, we are directly affected when the remnants of the militias that committed genocide in Rwanda become auxiliary forces of the DR Congo army and conduct attacks across our border. No country can accept this. Rwanda will never accept this as normal, and will always respond appropriately because our security and stability are paramount,” he said.
The recent attacks on police stations were carried out by Allied Democratic Forces rebels to force Uganda to withdraw from the DR Congo according to President Museveni. “Apparently, the pressure on ADF in Congo is too much for them and these attacks in Uganda are to raise money for ADF in Congo. They, childishly, imagine that these attacks will force us to withdraw from Congo,” President Museveni said.
President Ruto said he had a telephone conversation with Mr Tshisekedi over the deployment of troops in DR Congo and pledged Kenya’s support for peace.