Rwanda dismisses UN DRC report as CEPGL is reborn

The government has dismissed a report by a United Nations Group of Experts alleging that it was helping a Congolese rebel group, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), in its war against the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Rosemary Museminali.
Rosemary Museminali.

The government has dismissed a report by a United Nations Group of Experts alleging that it was helping a Congolese rebel group, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), in its war against the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Speaking last night from Bujumbura in Burundi where she had gone to attend a regional meeting of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL), Foreign Affairs minister Rosemary Museminali described the report as baseless.

“This report is full of false allegations and will only serve to undermine bilateral efforts to bring peace to the region,” she said, adding that Rwanda would soon give a comprehensive response to the allegations.

“One wonders if the inability by the UN to solve the crisis in the DRC must be replaced by blaming Rwanda,” she added.

Museminali also downplayed sections of the report where it says that members of the CNDP operated bank accounts in Kigali, and that it had found evidence of many telephone calls between Kigali officials and members of the CNDP.

“How can someone blame Rwanda if someone opens a bank account? The preamble of the report itself indicates that CNDP supporters are everywhere; Europe, America and other African countries. They have accounts there just as they can have accounts in Rwanda,” the minister underscored. She also questioned the logic of finding fault in the telephone logs alluded to in the report.

“The international community has been insisting that we put pressure on CNDP. How does someone start putting pressure if not by calling the subject? We are not the only ones who call CNDP, everyone involved in restoring peace in the region has been calling them,” she explained.

She pointed out that all the report sought to do, was to derail the ongoing bilateral talks that have been carried out successfully in the past month.

Museminali pointed out the CEPGL meeting she is attending in Burundi as an example of the road to normalcy the region was taking.

The regional economic bloc that groups together Rwanda, Burundi and DRC has been limping since 1994, and when it was revived in 1997, the DRC was reluctant to play its part.

“Today, the CEPGL has been reborn. All countries have expressed their strong commitment to revamp the organization in full force,” she said.

“It was decided to revive it in a strong way that will bring economic development in the region,” noted the minister.

Both Rwanda and DRC early this month signed a historical agreement that will see them work together to uproot rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The FDLR are remnants of ex-FAR/Interahamwe responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda who control a large part of eastern DRC and are said to be the major stumbling block to peace in the region.

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