Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Immaculée Uwanyiligira has told the Dutch media that among the reasons for rejecting the UN Mapping Report included its lack of clarity and marred by calculated, deliberate and glaring omissions of the historical context of the region.
Uwanyiligira said this Monday while addressing a press conference at the embassy in The Hague to give Rwanda’s position on the
The controversial report alleges that Rwandan forces committed atrocities in the DRC.
The Ambassador said the report used “unreliable and unverifiable primary sources and unacceptable methodology was employed in the data collection process.”
She said that Rwanda’s involvement in DRC was an act of self defence in the face of international (specifically the United Nations) inaction, “and was in conformity with Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on the use of force for self defence.”
The envoy emphasised that the report undermines the great strides made by Rwanda in establishing peace and stability; building a functioning and thriving state and that it threatens to reverse substantial contributions made toward ensuring security in the Great Lakes region.
“The report among other things, fails to acknowledge the UN’s failures and breach of its own conventions governing refugees that dictate that, ‘at the very least, refugees be located 50 km from the border of the country from which they fled,” She noted.
She observed that many refugee camps in eastern DRC were located as close as 5km from the Rwandan border and incursions into Rwanda from these camps in 1994/5 were frequent and vicious.
“The UN and its army of NGOs which descended on Goma in 1994, woefully failed to separate real refugees from genocidal forces, but instead continued to feed, house and nurse genocidal forces back to health.”
“...hence unwittingly or indeed deliberately enabling and emboldening them to continue to train in broad daylight in full military gear and to attack Rwanda with impunity. This renders the UN and NGOs complicit by virtue of their negligence,” Uwanyiligira charged.
She went on to say that the report does not mention the height of militarization in the camps in the DRC, which led several non-governmental organizations that found it unethical to withdraw their operations.
Among these organizations included CARE, OXFAM, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF).
“The report also fails to mention woeful incompetence of the UN current peacekeeping mission in the Congo, its largest ever, which, in its tenth year of operation in the Congo, despite its phenomenal one million dollar a day budget, has failed to stem off violence.”
She highlighted the recent report of rapes in the Congo which happened under the nose of a UN base.
“The report is a disingenuous and audacious attempt by the United Nations to obfuscate and efface its own culpability in the conflict.
It is at the very least insidious and defamatory and seeks to smear Rwanda, while shifting blame to mask its own gross incompetence that is tantamount to criminal negligence”.