Escalating incidents of hate speech in the DR Congo, championed by state actors and the existence of the FDLR, a terrorist group responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, along with several armed groups operating in the eastern DR Congo, topped the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on the situation in the Great Lakes with representatives tasking the Kinshasa government to take action in ending it. The session was also attended by none members of the Security Council including Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi and South Africa. It also reviewed the UNSC report on the ‘implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DR Congo and the Region.’ Rwanda welcomed the UNSC report and appreciated the consideration that the security and humanitarian situation in the sub-region is not attributed to one armed group. Similarly, Rwanda echoed her call to all warring parties to cease hostilities and take advantage of several existing agreements and peace and security roadmap as the basis for peaceful resolution of the conflicts. Several speakers at the session expressed concerns over the existence of several armed groups in DR Congo and the continued hate speech against Kinyarwanda speaking DR Congolese. In his address to the session, Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Robert Kayinamura, called out the UNSC to address the DR Congo issues from the roots rather than focusing on the consequences. Instead of addressing the leading root cause of insecurity in eastern DR Congo, the United Security Council preferred to manage this insecurity and focus on the consequences of the FDLR presence in eastern DRC, he said. Kayinamura told the Council that addressing the root causes of conflict remains a crucial factor. “This brings my intervention to the dangerous attitude that classifies specific communities in the Eastern DRC as ‘foreigners’ and thus should ‘go back where they came from.’ Such an attitude is a seed of unending conflict. It promotes hate, marginalisation and violence. This dangerous rhetoric undermines the United Nations and the sub-regional efforts to find a lasting solution,” he said. It is not the first time that the United Nations has expressed concerns over hate speech in DR Congo. On several occasions, the concern has been tabled just like how Rwanda has persistently complained about the existence of the genocidal and terrorist group, FDLR, that continue receiving military and logistical support from the DR Congo army, FARDC. In his address to UNSC, Kayinamura said, “entertaining the genocidal force, (FDLR), further complicates and prolongs a conflict for which the region has already paid a heavy cost. Even more disturbing is that such an attitude of entertaining FDLR might set the stage for further conflicts in the region.” In challenging the UNSC about addressing the roots of the DR Congo, Kayinamura stated that, instead of addressing the leading root cause of insecurity in eastern DRC, the Security Council preferred to manage this insecurity and focus on the consequences of the FDLR presence in eastern DRC. “Why can't the Security Council follow up on implementing multiple resolutions it has adopted and hold accountable whoever collaborates with FDLR? Why that long silence and tolerance of hate speech and xenophobia? These questions are legitimate, not only from a Rwandan or regional perspective but also from a broad perspective of maintaining international peace and security,” he said. Rwanda also challenged the UNSC and the international community on the situation in the DR Congo saying that it would be unfortunate if the Council would spend another 28 years dealing with FDLR and its consequences for DRC and the region. “Rwanda is convinced that the overall momentum for peace, security, and cooperation in the Great Lakes Region is so strong that it would eventually enable getting to the bottom of the causes of conflict under the supervision of this Council to live up to our collective expectations of a secure and stable Great Lakes Region, free of armed groups, including a remaining genocidal force on the continent.” In a related development, the report singled out a total of 17 cases of hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, targeted in particular at Kinyarwanda-speaking populations, were recorded between May and July; six of those had been committed by Congolese authorities and two resulted in the killing of a person each. The report adds in part that the rising hate speech and incitement to hostility, discrimination or violence, poses a serious threat to social cohesion and stability in the region.