A lot of ink has flowed down this page about what’s being dubbed the DRC-Rwanda conflict. This baffles all imagination because, as people of this region, where do you find the reason to talk of the DRC-Rwanda conflict? If you continue on this trajectory, you’ll be directly sliding into the snare of foreign media outlets that, for some dubious motives, are always drumming on “the conflict between DRC and Rwanda”. It’s a misnomer because what’s happening is not between two parties. It’s inside one party. There is no conflict, no quarrel, no friction, no shouting match, whatever, between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo by all honest observations. If there is any conflict, it’s between the DRC and its 130-plus indigenous rebel groups. And one foreign one, ADF, that’s wanted in Uganda. True, and a different foreign terrorist group, FDLR, wanted in Rwanda. Only, this one cuddles comfily in bed with the DRC government as it’s its army’s enfant chéri on the ground when it comes to taking on one of those indigenous rebel groups, the M23. For the last 28 years, DRC has harboured what the UN, in its delayed-reaction-syndrome manner, accepted to also recognise and declare as a terrorist group targeting Rwandans. The infamous FDLR responsible for the Genocide against the Tutsi now has acquired splinters and similarly-bent offspring. The M23 involves many Congolese Tutsi who are Kinyarwanda-speaking. Hence the Congolese drums of war against Rwanda, hence the use of FDLR as the Congolese army’s battering ram against M23 and, by extension, Rwanda. Still, if the Rwandan government has done anything about FDLR, it’s to request, through diplomatic channels, the DRC government to do the logical thing. Deport this band of terrorists to their country so they can face due judgement. They should explain themselves on their past genocidal crime and their intention to push it to its intended conclusion. Apart from that, Rwanda cannot be pulled into the primitiveness of violent solutions. She is beyond quarrelling or engaging in shouting matches about her wanted terrorists. Base methods of work, that’s what the RPF/A launched the liberation struggle to eradicate. The government that liberation movement ushered in and its Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) cannot be caught responding to ignoble insults hurled against them, which are like “stones hurled by a mad man”! Rwanda is for peace and that’s why she is always happy when sitting around a table with DRC, as is currently happening. It’s her conviction that peaceful dialogue to settle any differences between countries is, as her sage once said, “a lot cheaper in terms of lives and material” than any kind of conflict, especially armed. So, may the powers of DRC allow the two brotherly/sisterly countries to stick on the path of dialogue for peaceful co-existence and, from there, work together for self-advancement. It’s for the sake of pursuing peace whose dividends she understands well that Rwanda has borne all these repeated provocations without response. And I am confident she’ll stay that course until push comes to shove. Then her red line will have been crossed but let’s hope it won’t come to that. Because if it does, woe betide thee, our gigantic neighbour, for you will be in her crosshairs. For sure, you won’t be overly excited about the cost of that! DRC has sent rockets across the shared border, some of which have killed innocent Rwandans and destroyed property. It has abducted innocent Rwandans and kept them incommunicado. Thus propped up by the fact that it can apparently toy with Rwanda any way it wants without consequence, last Monday, November 7, the DRC government got its Sukhoi-25 fighter jet to fly over the Rwandan space. Still, that was not enough for it to show off the sophistication of its war material. So it got the jet to land at the Rwandan Rubavu airport. After a time, however, the way it shot right up in the air looked like it had been stung by the tongue of a raging fire. That stinging tongue seems to have given it the scare of its life! Anyway, Rwanda’s reaction was the same. In a soft-voiced diplomatic note-verbale sent to concerned government officials, she pleaded with DRC to stop these constant incitements. All the above notwithstanding, DRC continues to bang the drums of war. It is now recruiting youths to join the army and to together annihilate Rwanda. Because, it says, Rwanda is supporting M23 so as to enter the country and steal its minerals. There is no limit to DRC’s fantastic ideas! Or it’s election fever, maybe? Else, first, why does Rwanda have to hide behind M23 as if, if it comes to that, she can’t face DRC eyeball to eyeball? Second, what sophisticated material does Rwanda possess that DRC doesn’t, so that she can harvest its minerals when it can’t? Third, will those youths be ready for the war it’s calling for now? Or are they recruited as DRC’s version of Interahamwe to eliminate its Tutsi civilians? Bizarre does not begin to describe the goings-on in DRC!