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RDF Rejects Accusations Of Supporting M23 Attacks On DRC Army Bases

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Rwanda government has rejected accusations that the country’s military was involved with the M23 rebels which attacked positions of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC).

The M23 rebels recently conducted strategic and targeted attacks against the positions of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC), in the regions of Runyonyi and Tshanzu, in Rutshuru territory in North Kivu.

A Congolese news website POLITICO.CD, reported that through a press release sent to them by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), that they did not take part in these violent clashes alongside the M23 rebels.

“We would like to categorically refute the baseless accusations and declare that RDF is in no way involved in belligerent activities across the DRC,” RDF said in the presser.

The spokesman of the military governor of North Kivu, Gen.Sylvain Ekenge, claimed that two Rwandan soldiers had been captured during the fighting. However, this website says Kigali disputes these allegations and considers the allegations as manipulation of opinion.

“We would like to challenge these false allegations,” reads the statement released by the RDF.

However, during the bilateral meeting of the joint intelligence teams convened on February 25, 2022 in Kigali, the Congolese army and intelligence delegation mentioned two names of alleged Rwandan soldiers captured during the shootout with M23 rebels.

The RDF explained that, “It is a manipulation of opinion by presenting two individuals arrested in obscure circumstances, more than a month ago, as elements captured during the fighting on March 28, 2022.”

“The DRC and Rwanda have verification mechanisms within the framework of the ICGLR and at the bilateral level to verify these allegations, and the DRC should have activated them if it had acted in good faith. We call on EJVM and JIT to investigate these absurd accusations against the RDF,” the statement says.

In addition, the RDF statement notes that the government of Rwanda has always offered its cooperation for the repatriation of Congolese ex-combatants, who were disarmed and quartered. Thus, the RDF believes, the Rwandan government should not take responsibility for the failure of the DRC government to conclude the process smoothly.

On Monday, several positions of the Congolese armed forces were targeted by M23 attacks on the hills of Runyonyi and Tshanzu, in Rutshuru territory. Clashes were reported throughout the day. The majority of the population fled the region to Uganda.

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