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CND-NDC

Congrès National pour la Démocratie - National Democratic Congress  

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url: www.nationaldemocraticcongress.org

 Presse Release  PP/No. 01/Jun/22 

Dire Situation in Eastern DRC requires Bold Measures from the International Community.

Once again, the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been engulfed in a war between Rwanda proxy rebel groups and the Congolese troops (FARDC). The National Democratic Congress (NDC), a  coalition between Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and  Rally of the Rwandan People (RPR - Inkeragutabara), would like to denounce and condemn in the strongest terms possible the current state of war instigated by proxy groups trained, heavily armed, and supported by the Rwandan government, as confirmed by several independent observers.  


Our Organization is extremely concerned with the loss of lives of innocent Congolese as well as the uncertain plight of the Rwandan refugees that have found protection in DRC since 1994. After a careful examination of the current situation in Eastern DRC, we would like to call upon the MONUSCO and the International Community not to spare any efforts in order to protect the local population as well as the Rwandan refugees in the region.


It is important to emphasize that the current conditions on the ground are reminiscent of what happened in 1996-1997 when hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees and Congolese citizens, including children, women, and elderly,  were systematically savagely massacred by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and its allies. The attacks followed an intensive demonization campaign.  RPA elements launched military operations on refugee camps in South Kivu in October 1996. The attacks  continued unabated until all the Rwandan refugee camps in Eastern DRC were totally destroyed. Along with the destructions, the refugees were hunted down over the entire DRC territory. 
These massacres were subsequently qualified as acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by several independent organizations including a UN report entitled "DRC: Mapping Human Rights Violations 1993-2003”. It is important to remind all the stakeholders that the main perpetrators of such horrendous crimes hold even today positions in the current Rwandan civil and military administrations and no one has ever been held accountable. 

Despite repeated denials of the Rwandan government for supporting the current Congolese rebellion, our Organization has learned from reliable sources how Paul Kagame and his security services have been supporting these Congolese surrogate groups. Hence, the M23 inception was meant to sideline renegade Generals from proxy rebel groups that came before it, including Bosco Ntaganda under trial by the International Criminal Court and Gen. Laurent Nkunda accused by the International Community of war crimes and looting the resources in DRC,  working for Kagame security services. Once Col Sultani Makenga was accepted as M23 Commander, Kigali promised to provide the training of new recruits, arms, logistical support, and RDF troops, if and when needed. We have also learned that several refugees who returned to Rwanda from DRC were forced to enroll into these various proxy rebel factions and militia.  Meanwhile, these renegade generals have been investing the proceeds from looting the DRC mineral and natural resources into the Rwandan economy with the protection of Kagame and his security services.

It is unfortunate to note that the current crisis in Eastern DRC comes to corroborate what our Organization has been saying all along: the policies put forward by Paul Kagame and his cronies currently constitute the root cause of the insecurity and impasse in the Great Lakes Region.  Although Rwandan refugees established in DRC have become the scapegoats of the instability in the region, it is the dictatorial, repressive, and undemocratic regime currently ruling Rwanda that constitutes the main obstacle to finding durable solutions to the Rwandan refugee problem in the DRC. Several independent political analysts, observers, and human rights organizations have come to the conclusion that the regime in Kigali oppresses its own citizens. Therefore, Rwanda is where solutions must be found and applied if  durable peace was to be established.

We are of the opinion that the UN would agree with us that basic human rights, democracy, and self determination are universal values that must be neither trampled on nor stifled by any regime, regardless of the excuses. The needs for survival of the leaders of a brutal regime cannot override the basic human rights and the right to life, for individuals.

To avert another humanitarian disaster in the region, it is time that the International Community takes bold actions if it is genuinely committed to solving this Africa Great  Lakes Region problem, once for all. Thus, our Organization calls upon the International Community, in general, and the UN Security Council, in particular, to take substantive measures against the Rwandan government in order to guarantee peace and stability in the DRC as well as ensuring protection of the refugees in the region.  
Hence, our Organization would like to reaffirm the following principles that constitute the cornerstone of finding lasting solutions to address the plight in of refugees and the humanitarian tragedy that the the Great Lakes region has been enduring for decades:

  • The NDC remains committed to peace and peaceful solutions as it has already demonstrated during the short-lived Kisangani Process that led to Kasiki settlement Centre.  
  • As our Organization has always pointed out, the Rwandan problem is political in nature and requires political solutions. The current political and undemocratic situation prevailing in Rwanda is the root cause of the endemic instability in the region as it has been confirmed by recent events. Therefore, it is our firm conviction that as long as the Rwandan problem is not resolved the Africa Great Lakes region will remain unstable. 
  • In order to foster a reconciliatory Justice system, the only foundation of genuine Reconciliation, we urgently ask to hold, under the auspices of the International Community, an Inter-Rwandan Dialogue. In addition, our organization calls for the organization of a "Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation" Commission in our homeland that would help heal a traumatized society. 
  • We remain convinced that only this Dialogue would lead to lasting peace, stability, and the establishment of new political, judiciary, and security institutions that would be the reflection of the legitimate aspirations of all the constitutive groups of the Rwandan society.
  • Our Organization has the firm commitment to constructively and actively contribute to finding lasting and peaceful solutions to the problems that have plagued our homeland and the Africa Great Lakes region as a whole. 

 

June 24,  2022


Dr. Augustin Dukuze

Spokesperson

National Democratic Congress