Unpacking Rwanda’s Involvement in DR Congo and the International Response
Its location in the center of Africa has made the Democratic Republic of the Congo a key player One estimate has the Rwandan army making $ million in 48 months from the sale of coltan, even though Rwanda has no coltan deposits . Censuring Rwanda for its involvement in DR Congo could put its Relations between the two are rocky to say the least, characterised since. In New York this week, Rwandan President Paul Kagame touted the recent thawing in relations between Rwanda and Congo as “very good.
Secondly, President Mobutu was considered by the RPF to be unwilling or unable to disarm militias and secure the border with Rwanda.
Rwanda, DR Congo agree to enhance bilateral trade ties | The New Times | Rwanda
Despite this expression of solidarity between some African leaders and the Congolese president, the ADFL, heavily backed by Rwanda, took Kinshasa in May and declared Kabila president. Given his reliance on the Rwandan military in overthrowing Mobutu, as McNulty points out: Facing a regime in Kinshasa that it believed was actively supporting Rwandan genocidal militia, and dwindling influence over its former ally, Rwanda reinvaded in Following a similar pattern to the earlier conflict, Rwanda worked with and through a local rebel group in Eastern Congo, the Congolese Rally for Democracy.
A significant turning point in the Second Congo War came with the assassination of Laurent Kabila by a bodyguard and the accession of his son, Joseph, who continues to rule in following elections in and Rwanda did not officially withdraw all of its troops untilthough there are reports that they retain considerable economic ties to the East. A UN Panel of Experts report in accused individuals, military and Government representatives from Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe of plundering resources from the Congolese territory occupied by their forces United Nations, Two particularly high profile episodes relate to rebellions by former Congolese Army soldiers, the CNDP under the leadership of Laurent Nkundaand the M23 ongoing.
Following the Second Congo War he was integrated into the DR Congo Army but, when the DR Congo Government tried to move Nkunda and those previously under his command away from the East, and their links to both the bulk of the Congolese Tutsi population and their former and some argue continued Rwandan backers, they defected to form the CNDP and challenge the Government.
This history of interference in Eastern Congo, direct and indirect, using military forces and via proxies, underpinned by security concerns and natural resource-based connections to the region, brings us to the present situation with the M In April many of these former CNDP soldiers overthough estimates vary deserted the Army citing poor conditions in the military and Congolese Government failures to implement a peace agreement.
Foreign relations of Rwanda
By November the group, in a cycle now familiar to the residents of Eastern Congo, had seized Goma. A UN Group of Experts gathering evidence and testimony from members of rebel groups, armed forces, Government officials and international observers, amongst others, reported in November that Rwanda, and to a lesser extent Uganda, were providing support for the M UK Parliament, but donors, including the UK — a strong supporter of the Rwandan regime see Beswick, and — have been sufficiently convinced to respond more strongly than during previous Congo crises.
Another consideration to add here is that Rwanda has become one of the top 10 providers of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, primarily operating in Darfur.Rwanda VS DR Congo Military Power Comparison 2018
Censuring Rwanda for its involvement in DR Congo could put this at risk, making UN and donor engagement with Rwanda politically more complex than just a case of whether to cut or maintain aid Beswick, Current discussions suggest an African Union force could be deployed in the East to provide stability where the Congolese Army and UN forces have been unable to do so.
There have been improvements in regional tensions in recent years. In mid-to-late the DRC signed peace agreements with both Rwanda and Uganda, after which both countries withdrew their troops from the Congo. The US led Tripartite Commission between the Great Lakes countries also aims to resolve regional peace and security issues by fostering dialogue between regional governments. This has led to some normalisation in relations between the DRC and both Uganda and Rwanda, though tensions remain, largely due to the continued presence of rebel groups on DRC territory.
UN sanctions UNSCRsand also impose restrictions on the sale or supply of arms and related material to persons in States neighbouring Rwanda, including DRC, when the goods in question were intended for use in Rwanda.
In Octoberwith significant U. Following up on enhanced military cooperation with Rwanda and Uganda, the DRC re-established full diplomatic relations with Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda in The meetings were the first heads-of-state meetings between the DRC and Rwanda in over 10 years.
Rwanda genocide: 'Domino effect' in DR Congo
Relations with Angola had been tense, but a recent visit by President Kabila has eased tensions and given hopes of a lasting rapprochement. The DRC also established diplomatic relations with its newest neighbor, the Republic of South Sudan, after the latter gained its independence on July 9, The term "balkanization" has its own special meaning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it refers to a conspiracy theory that foreign interests seek to divide the DRC into smaller client states in order to facilitate access to the country's vast mineral reserves.
Many prominent Congolese are quick to assert that United States is among the foreign powers poised to "balkanize" the DRC, just as many Congolese appear to believe that the U. It is not clear how broad-based such views are or if they result primarily from government manipulation of public opinion.
Many blame the conflict that killed millions of Congolese between and on the Rwandans, with support from the USG, turning the DRC into a vassal state of Rwanda, which it is claimed it remains today.
While radical intellectuals express a hardline version, moderate variations of the theory are regularly articulated by the pro-government press, political figures, and private citizens. Some Congolese suspect, to one degree or another, that USG assistance and all international aid, for that matter is provided in order to weaken the country and advance private business interests.
This view is particularly prevalent in the Kivus, as audiences continue to believe US interests supported Rwanda's alleged efforts to annex the Kivus and monopolize the region's resources.