Rwanda has cautioned the African Union against supporting the SADC forces deployed in Eastern DRC, asserting that such a move would inevitably intensify conflict and pose direct threats to Kigali’s stability.

Kigali stresses that the deployment of the Southern African Development Community Mission in DRC (SAMIDRC) in the eastern Congo would see them fight alongside the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), whose primary objective is the instigation of a leadership change in Rwanda.

In a formal letter directed to Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the African Union Commission, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Vincent Biruta, urges the regional body to refrain from endorsing the deployment.

Mr Biruta underscores the gravity of the situation by highlighting the FDLR’s explicit goal to overthrow the Rwandan government and complete the genocide initiated in 1994.

“In addition to the FDLR, whose objective is to overthrow the government of Rwanda and finish the genocide they started in 1994, both the Presidents of DRC and Burundi have publicly stated their intention to support regime change in Rwanda,” said Mr Biruta.

Rwanda highlights the significance of these threats, particularly since both Burundi and DRC host the FDLR.

The statement argues that SAMIDRC, aligning itself with these elements, cannot serve as a viable substitute for the stalled political process within the DRC government.

The statement contends that SAMIDRC aligns with the belligerent posture of the DRC government, prioritising a military solution over the regional peace initiatives in place.

Recent hostilities between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels in North Kivu’s eastern province have further heightened tensions.

Last month, the United States condemned the escalating violence, attributing it to the actions of the M23 armed group allegedly backed by Rwandan forces.

The US emphasised that these actions, both by Rwanda and the rebels, are subject to sanctions imposed by both the United States and the United Nations.

Highlighting the severity of the situation, the US pointed out that recent incursions by the M23 into the town of Sake have exacerbated an already precarious humanitarian situation, exposing millions to heightened risks of human rights abuses, displacement, and violent attacks.