viagra geneva; font-size: small;”>“It is regrettable that DRC has chosen to make allegations in the media shortly before we were to sign the joint verification taskforce report, whose purpose was to sift through allegations and separate fact from fiction,” said Mushikiwabo.
DRC Information Minister Lambert Mende said on Saturday that between 200 and 300 men were recruited on Rwanda territory and later dispatched to fight alongside mutinous soldiers in the volatile Eastern Congo.
“The Rwandan territory was used in the preparation and commission of a conspiracy which, having started as a simple mutiny, is dangerously moving towards a pattern of breaches of the peace between the two countries of the Great Lakes region,” said Mende during a press conference in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Congo’s accusations could destroy the bilateral ties between the two neighbors.
Mende noted that among the mutineers led by renegade warlord Bosco Ntaganda and Col. Sylvain Sultani are “between 200 and 300 elements recruited on the Rwandan territory by a network active in the neighboring country.”
“Several of the fighters who were recruited are Rwandans. Infiltrated in the DRC, they underwent a brief training before being deployed against the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), in the Virunga National Park, in North Kivu, which borders Uganda and Rwanda, where the rebels are holed up,” he said.
“The Congolese government denounces the passivity of the Rwandan authorities regarding this serious breach of peace and security in the DRC, hatched from their territory,” he added.
“This is a serious issue that must be resolved urgently between the states of the Great Lakes region in the framework of their fight against the negative forces. This unfortunate development has been the focus of all bilateral meetings between Congolese and Rwandan experts that have taken place the last several days,” cautioned Mende.
However, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda will not be drawn into the Congo conflict.
She further stated it was a tragedy for the people of the Eastern DRC that its government has chosen to fall for a big lie, and it is these people who would suffer from any resurgence of xenophobia.
“We understand that the government in the DRC is facing multiple challenges on several fronts and that using Rwanda as a scapegoat is an attempt to distract and deflect attention away from these domestic crises,” she said in a statement seen by Chimpreports.com.
“We have said repeatedly that we are not involved, and there is no evidence to the contrary. The failure of DRC to fix its long-standing problems is unfortunately spilling over to the neighbourhood,” said Mushikiwabo.
Earlier, the United Nations mission in DR Congo and Human Rights Watch said former rebels led by Ntaganda had received reinforcements from Rwanda.