Gov’t denies DRC rebels using Rwandan territory

NYARUGENGE - Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Rosemary Museminali, has strongly denied recent reports that Rwandan territory was being used to support rebels in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Minister was reacting to a recent statement made by the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer. Frazer told journalists that the US has no evidence that Rwanda is fighting directly in the conflict in the East of DR Congo, but that they believe Rwandan territory was being used to support CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People).
Rosemary Museminali, Foreign Affairs Minister briefing the press.
Rosemary Museminali, Foreign Affairs Minister briefing the press.

NYARUGENGE - Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Rosemary Museminali, has strongly denied recent reports that Rwandan territory was being used to support rebels in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Minister was reacting to a recent statement made by the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer.

Frazer told journalists that the US has no evidence that Rwanda is fighting directly in the conflict in the East of DR Congo, but that they believe Rwandan territory was being used to support CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People).

“Rwandan soil is not being used by anyone; if she (Frazer) said so, then I have no idea where she got that information from,” she told journalists after meeting Heads of Diplomatic Corps at her offices yesterday.

Museminali added that the US is a very close ally of Rwanda and that if Frazer made the statement, she (Museminali) would be very surprised to hear it coming from the US.

In a related development, Minister Museminali briefed the heads of foreign missions in Rwanda that the country’s troops are not in DR Congo.

“I told them (Ambassadors) that Rwanda is not in any way involved in the Congo conflicts,” Museminali told the press. She, however, emphasised that if the Kinshasa government had the will to solve the conflict, it would end.

“Rwanda’s worries are the existence of the FDLR rebels in the DR Congo,” said Museminali.

Rwanda and DRC have signed a number of pacts and agreements of disarming and repatriating the FDLR rebels but all have not been fruitful.

Asked about the failed agreements, Museminali said that at the center of the matter is the existence of FDLR rebels on Congo soil.

“Rwanda fulfilled all her requirement in all agreements. What is remaining is commitment from other parties involved,” she said.

She, however, emphasised that Rwanda will maintain bilateral relations with DR Congo as a way of solving the issue.

Information Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, who also attended the meeting, said that all the agreements signed between Rwanda and DRC are still considered valid.

The meeting was also attended by the newly appointed President’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region Amb. Joseph Mutaboba.

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