Rwanda: Paul Kagame announces that he will be a candidate for a fourth term

Rwanda opposes AU support for SADC soldiers in DRC

Rwanda has expressed its strong opposition to the deployment of the Southern African Development Community Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIRDC) and called on the African Union not to support the initiative, fearing that it would worsens the already tense conflict in eastern DRC.

In a letter addressed to the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta expressed “great concern” over a meeting of the Council of AU Peace and Security Council aimed at approving the deployment of the SAMIRDC. Biruta accused this regional force of fighting alongside the Congolese army and other armed groups, including the Rwandan rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

According to the press release, Rwanda believes that SAMIRDC, by supporting the belligerent posture of the DRC government, goes against regional peace initiatives. The country also stressed that the intention to force the African Union to support the deployment of the SAMIRDC will only exacerbate the already existing conflict in the region.

This disagreement comes against a backdrop of new fighting between the Congolese army and March 23 Movement (M23) rebels in the eastern province of North Kivu. While the DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels, Kigali firmly denies these allegations.