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DR Congo Again Sounds Alarm Over Rwandan 'Aggression'

FILE - People displaced by conflict sit in a camp in Komanda, Ituri province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Aug. 30, 2023. There are over 6 million internally displaced people in the DRC. AFP News


Kinshasa again sounded the alarm Thursday over the humanitarian tragedy being caused by Rwandan "aggression" inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ahead of the U.N. General Assembly next week.

Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya and Justice Minister Rose Mutombo set out their case against Kigali in a news conference in the capital.

They repeated allegations that DRC's eastern neighbor Rwanda has been backing the Tutsi-led M23 rebels, which Kigali has repeatedly denied.

The force has seized swaths of territory in North Kivu, on the two countries' border, since taking up arms again in late 2021 after years of dormancy.

Muyaya referred to "irrefutable proof of criminal activities run by the Rwandan army with its M23 supporters."

Presenting an update of a previous white paper on the issue, he said the conflict had forced more than 2.3 million people to flee their homes and left hundreds of schools destroyed or occupied.

It had also caused "incalculable" damage to the Virunga National Park and cost millions of dollars in customs receipts.

The conflict had also made it impossible to add people in the affected regions to the electoral roll, which would affect the general elections due in December, he added.

U.N. experts have also accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel force, and in July, the EU condemned the country's military presence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In August, Washington announced sanctions against six people, mainly rebel leaders they said had contributed to the recent escalation of the conflict in the DRC: Rwandan and Congolese citizens.

Muyaya, while welcoming the recent diplomatic support, called for a more vigorous international response to the crisis.


(c) 2023, VOA News


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