RDF dismisses reports of deployment in DRC

KIGALI - Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), yesterday refuted as “totally false” press reports that Rwandan troops recently crossed back into eastern DRC and that two battalions were deployed around Walikale region.
RDF Spokesperson Lt Col Jill Rutaremara
RDF Spokesperson Lt Col Jill Rutaremara

KIGALI - Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), yesterday refuted as “totally false” press reports that Rwandan troops recently crossed back into eastern DRC and that two battalions were deployed around Walikale region.

An online magazine – Africa Confidential, recently alleged that “Chaos in the Kivus has given Kigali a pretext to send its soldiers back across the border,” and that RDF units were back in the DRC but trying to keep a low profile.

“There are no Rwandan troops on Congolese territory. Two RDF battalions cannot operate quietly in Walikale and the presence of the RDF in DRC cannot be proved using empty ration packs,” Defence and Army Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara, said in an interview yesterday.

Africa Confidential had alleged that evidence of RDF movements included “numerous empty ration packs, discarded as the troops entered Congo on foot.”

Col. Rutaremara also denied the claim by the publication that “RDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence” was kidnapping former CNDP troops who remain loyal to Gen. Laurent Nkunda who are refugees in Rwanda.

“The allegation that Laurent Nkunda’s supporters who are living in Rwanda as refugees are being kidnapped with the help of RDF Military Intelligence are also not true”

However, Rutaremara agreed that dissidents - Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa and Colonel Patrick Karegeya, both in exile in South Africa, are forging links with the FDLR and other negative forces in the DRC.

“It is true that those renegades [Kayumba and Karegeya] are busy forging links and unholy alliances with FDLR and other negative forces,” he said.arly this month, even though no details were disclosed to the media, top Rwandan and Congolese defence officials met in Kigali, and announced that they had designed and agreed on concrete measures to stamp out FDLR rebels and other negative forces in DRC.

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