Rwanda President has denied his troops involment in the crimes committed in eastern DRC during the two wars in this country. His words during an interview with RFI and France 24, have provoked of Congolese who denounce the contempt of the Rwandan president for the victims of these crimes.
On May 17, the Rwandan president has grant an interview to RFI and France 24 in which he returned to the two wars of the RDC, between march 1993 and june 2003. The report of project Mapping (TOP Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights) which investigated on the crimes committed during these wars, accuses much more the Rwandan troops and rebellions they supported among the many foreign armies that had gone to this conflict.
Paul Kagame statements rejecting these allegations of crime in eastern Congo sparked an outcry in DRC.
Paul Kagame denies crimes in eastern DRC
« There was no crime. Absolutely not. It’s the dual genocide theory that is at work », says the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He also rejects the actions of Dr. Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner ; for the recognition of crimes committed in eastern DRC, including by Rwandan troops. The Rwandan Head of State accuses the Congolese peace prize to be « an instrument of forces we do not see ». He adds « they tell him what to say ».
According to Mappuing project, Paul Kagame states that « The report of project Mappuing was extremely controversial in the DRC, it is highly contested by people, it was very politicized ». « There are other reports that have come out that say quite the opposite «, he adds.
The president also rejects accusations of the presence of his troops in eastern DRC while the January 2021 report by a UN group of experts claims that the Rwandan army was present in the DRC between late 2019 and October 2020 and carried out “operations in violation of the sanctions imposed” in North Kivu.
For Kagame, the failure to resolve the crisis in eastern DRC is fingerpointing largely, to UN mission, to MUNUSCO, when he says, « What have you been doing there for 24 years? You go there to solve a problem, what happened ? », to the microphones of RFI and France 24, before adding: » It is a huge failure, it is an understatement! « .
Dissatisfaction of victims of violence in eastern DRC
The reactions to the statements of Paul Kagame have multiplied in DRC. Tatiana Mukanire, victim of rebels abuses during the wars said « listening to Paul Kagame’s words, I felt disgust and great pain ». It should be noted that she is the national coordinator of the national movement of survivors of sexual violence, created by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Congolese Nobel peace prize.
For Martin Fayulu, leader of the opposition Lamuka coalition, “the Congolese are being humiliated for the lack of legitimate, responsible, strong and characterful leadership at the head of the country. We will not accept anyone’s denial of the crimes in the DRC, ”he said.
And to the citizen movement LUCHA to add « For Kagame no crime has been committed in the DRC. What negationism ! Without truth and justice, sincere relationships are impossible. We are waiting for an official protest from the DRC ”.
Note that in August 2020, Vincent Karega, Rwandan ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, had already hit the headlines there by making denial of the massacres in eastern DRC.