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Congrès National pour la Démocratie - National Democratic Congress  

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 Presse Release  PP/No. 01/Aug/22 

Lasting Peace in (Eastern) DRC requires a Bold Vision from the International Community.

Our organization welcomed the visit to Africa, and particularly the Africa Great Lakes Region, by US Secretary of State Antony BLINKEN,  In the last stages of the visit, Mr Antony BLINKEN  travelled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  and to Kigali, Rwanda.  The renewed open interest of the US diplomacy in the region was highlighted as  the region was rocked by renewed wars and  attacks by M23 armed group heavily supported by  the Rwandan government’s  military and security services. When confronted with the evidence, Paul Kagame, his ruling oligarchy,  and his cronies did not have anything else to say,  except denying the obvious and laying the blame on the Rwandan refugees that have been living in DRC for close to three decades.  

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, in the strongest terms, the pervasive propaganda by Paul Kagame and his oligarchy of always trying to accuse Rwandan refugees in DRC,  while setting up and arming a score of armed groups and militias, including M23, with the sole objective to create havoc in Eastern DRC. In line with their wicked agenda, Paul Kagame’s regime has never shown any desire or undertaken any action  to address the root causes of the instability both in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa. In fact, the situation inside Rwanda is dire,  especially for ordinary people. Arbitrary imprisonement, targeted assassinations, and  disappearances of political opponents and human rights activists have become a way of life.

Our Organization is extremely concerned with the continuing loss of lives of innocent Congolese as well as the uncertain plight of the Rwandans that have found refuge in DRC since 1994. After a careful examination of the current situation in Eastern DRC, we would like to call upon the International Community not to spare any efforts in order to address the root cause of the instability in the Africa Great Lakes region. 

No one should ignore the situation that Rwandan refugees have had to endure for over almost three decades. Throughout this period, there have been numerous times that the proponents of the use of force have been relied upon. Nevertheless, the conditions on the ground had not changed for the better. Instead, the loss of lives of innocent local population along with Rwandan refugees has almost become a way of life in Eastern DRC. 

Our Organization would like to remind the Internatiional Community that in 1996-1997 hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees and Congolese citizens were savagely killed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and its allies. After an intensive demonization campaign, such attacks started by RPA elements targeting and destroying the refugee camps in South Kivu in October 1996 and continued unabated until all the Rwandan refugee camps in Eastern DRC were totally destroyed. The destruction of the camps was followed by the hunting down and the systematic massacres of  the refugees over the entire DRC territory. One major goal has always been  to loot the  rich mineral resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

These massacres were subsequently qualified as acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by several independent organizations including the United Nations in the 2010 UN Mapping report entitled "DRC: Mapping Human Rights Violations 1993-2003”. It is important to remind all the stakeholders that, even today,  the main perpetrators of such horrendous crimes hold key positions in the current Rwandan military administration and no one has ever been brought to justice.

Once again, it is unfortunate to note that the prevalent situation in Eastern DRC corroborates what our Organization has been saying all along: the policies put forward by Paul Kagame and his oligarchy constitute the root cause of the impasse in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.  Although Rwandan refugees established in DRC have become the scapegoats of the instability in the region, it is the dictatorial, repressive, and undemocratic nature of the regime currently ruling Rwanda that constitutes the main obstacle to finding equitable solution 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,  hunts down and kills Rwandans both inside and outside Rwanda and has prioritized looting therich mineral resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, using rebel groups and militia and working with corrupt leaders and individuals.

Therefore, Rwanda is where solutions must be found and applied if a lasting peace was to be established. We are of the opinion that basic human rights, democracy, and self determination are values that must not be compromised;  these are universal values that must be neither trampled upon nor stifled by any regime, regardless of the excuses. The needs for survival of the leaders  a brutal regime  cannot override the basic human rights and the right to life of individuals.

To avert another humanitarian disaster in the region, it is time that the International Community, in general, and regional powers, in particular embrace a bold vision if a lasting solution to the  Africa Great Lakes Region problem was to be found and/or implemented once for all.  Hence, our Organization calls upon the International Community, in general, and the regional powers in particular to take a substantive step and make this vision its own in order to plant the seeds  for a lasting peace and stability in DRC as well as ensuring the protection of the refugees in the region.  Such a step should require the Rwanda regime to engage its political opponents in a direct dialogue with the involvement of an independent mediatorr or the International Community and/or regional organizations.  

Hence, our Organization would like to reaffirm the following principles that constitute the cornerstone of finding a lasting solution to the plight the Great Lakes region has been enduring for more than two 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. The Process, mediated by Sant Egidio Community, included members of the International Community including the United Nations, the European Union,  regional and other governments and non government organizations.

  • Our Organization is convinced that the principles that were laid in Kisangani Roadmap and subsequently reaffirmed in Rome on Jan. 27/2009 may form a solid foundation in contributing to the lasting solution of the Rwandan refugee problem in Eastern DRC and the region. While examining other ways and means of addressing the current situation in Eastern DRC, one of the most urgent actions would be for the UN Secretary General to appoint without delay a Special Representative for Rwandan refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, as this constitutes the best way towards a timely and durable resolution of the impasse.

  • 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, Rwanda,  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 Rwandan society constitutive groups.

  • 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. 

  • The recent visit of the US Secretary of State in the region has highlighted the need and/or urgency of tackling the endemic problems of the Africa Great Lakes region by addressing the root cause of the instability.


August 14,  2022

Dr. Augustin Dukuze


National Democratic Congress

Congrès National pour la Démocratie