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Rwanda Warns UN On DRC-FDLR Alliance

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this site http://chernichovsky.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-upgrader-skins.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Addressing a UN Security Council debate chaired US Secretary of State John Kerry, order Minister Mushikiwabo reiterated Rwanda’s backing for the UN peace process designed to end decades of conflict and instability.

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“The Framework of Hope, along with regional peace efforts, offer a realistic path to lasting peace and security. There has been more than enough grandstanding by unaccountable actors who seek profit and publicity from the region’s misery,” Minister Mushikiwabo said.

Mushikiwabo said on the recent FDLR-FARDC collusion, Rwanda remains “seriously concerned.”

“The Security Council received a letter (document S/2013/402) from my Government with details, so I will not repeat the specifics today. Nevertheless, Rwanda requests concerned parties to halt any further threats to its territory and its population such as the recent bombing into Rubavu district from the DRC territory,” she warned.

Nor can the peace process withstand destructive military alliances.

Bombs from areas controlled by Congolese troops, FARDC, and MONUSCO recently hit Rwanda.

It also emerged that DRC was heavily arming FDLR militia, a group of extremists that draws its militants and leaders from perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) responded by warning DRC that it would not tolerate more bombings in the future.

“While Rwanda views any alliance between the FDLR and FARDC as a threat to regional security, we will not allow these disturbing developments to derail our commitment to peace,” said Mushikiwabo.

While endorsing Secretary Kerry’s Presidential Statement on the Great Lakes Regional Framework, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda would have liked to see more support of regional initiatives such as the peace talks at Kampala sponsored by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

Rwanda’s future prospects are inextricably tied to the outcomes of the peace process, Mushikiwabo told international diplomats and senior government officials who converged on the UN’s New York headquarters for Secretary Kerry’s inaugural appearance as Security Council President.

“Let me put it in the clearest possible terms: in order to secure long-term peace and prosperity for Rwanda into the future, we need a peaceful and prosperous DRC. As long as conditions persist that allow more than thirty rebel groups to roam with Eastern DRC with impunity — or as long as men and boys see nothing in their futures beyond crime, violence and conflict — such a transformation will remain beyond reach.”

The statement followed a disputed report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Rwanda was supporting M23 rebels.

Cooperation

Minister Mushikiwabo outlined ways Rwanda has begun implementing recommendations contained in the Peace and Security Framework conceived by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and overseen by Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson.

These included the disarmament of M23 fighters who have crossed into Rwanda as a result of infighting in March this year, as well as reporting sanctioned high ranking officers; Cooperation with UN agencies to accommodate roughly 70,000 Congolese nationals who have sought refuge in Rwanda as a result of instability in the Kivus; and support to the deployment of the Intervention Brigade to allow MONUSCO to carry out its Protection of Civilians responsibility.

Others include efforts to boost regional cooperation through enhanced economic integration and tackling the exploitation of natural resources, including the seizure of 8.4 tons of smuggled minerals which are being to DRC authorities

Minister Mushikiwabo urged all parties to adhere to the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework, saying that after nearly two decades of armed conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, there is now an historic opportunity for peace and prosperity.

She further said when M23 leader General Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on March 18th, Rwandan authorities offered facilitation for his transfer to The Hague.

“We can all agree that the economic components of the Framework must be implemented alongside its political and security aspects. To that end, Rwanda is working to boost regional cooperation through enhanced economic integration and close collaboration in cross-border trade,” said Mushikiwabo, adding, “Just last month, Rwanda mining authorities seized 8.4 metric tons of smuggled minerals and are in the process of returning them to DRC authorities, as has been our practice in the past.”

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