The United Nations has expressed worries over the continued existence of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), rebels linked to the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was revealed by the Haile Menkerios, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, after his meeting with President Paul Kagame, at Urugwiro Village.
Menkerios, said that the existence of the FDLR in DR Congo, poses a big threat to the two neighbouring countries’ relations.
He was sent to Rwanda by the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, to meet with President Kagame and look for possible alternatives to the conflict in the Congo.
Menkerios’s visit to Rwanda, comes a day after the UN Secretary General condemned recent artillery shelling of the Rwandan side by President Joseph Kabila forces as they fled Goma.
Speaking to the Press after holding lengthy discussions with President Kagame, Menkerios, said that he was heartened that the two leaders of Rwanda and DR Congo are in contact and would brief ki-Moon on developments.
DRC sent its Foreign Affairs minister to Rwanda early this week, while Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister is also in DRC to meet with President Kabila.
Menkerios however, emphasised that the primary cause of the problem is the existence of FDLR in Congo and that the Kinshasa government has to play a leading role in cooling the tension by imposing the Nairobi Communiqué.
He added that the issue is more of an internal problem within DR Congo since renegade Gen. Laurent Nkunda is Congolese.
The government in Kinshasa has accused Rwanda of actively supporting Gen. Nkunda but Kigali has denied the accusations and emphasised that the fighting was an internal DR Congo affair for which it bore no responsibility.
“…But there are accusations and suspicions from the other end that Rwanda is supporting Nkunda; The fact is whether it is an internal issue or not, it does affect relations of the two countries; the presence of FDLR/Interahamwe in DRC does affect the relations of the two countries,” said Menkerios.