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UN: before the General Assembly, the DRC warns of “aggression” by Rwanda

UN: before the General Assembly, the DRC warns of “aggression” by Rwanda
The President of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, addresses the 77th session of the United ...   -  
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Jason DeCrow/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

Democratic Republic Of Congo

On the eve of the United Nations General Assembly, the Democratic Republic of Congo warned Thursday of the "humanitarian tragedy" and the "damage" caused by the "aggression" of Rwanda, accused of supporting a rebellion in the East of its territory.

Before the press in Kinshasa, the Minister of Communication and government spokesperson, Patrick Muyaya , and the Minister of Justice Rose Mutombo , presented "volume II" of a "white paper" documenting, according to them, "the scale of the disaster .

The first version, in December 2022, had already “demonstrated the proven aggression of the DRC by Rwanda” , declared Patrick Muyaya, who spoke of “irrefutable proof of criminal activities led by the Rwandan army with its M23 auxiliaries " .

The M23 rebels, for "March 23 Movement" , seized large swaths of territory in the province of North Kivu last year , which they still occupy today.

From the start, against a backdrop of tense relations between the two countries for nearly 30 years, Kinshasa has accused Kigali of fighting alongside this rebellion. UN experts have confirmed this support, which has been condemned by several Western chancelleries but which Rwanda still does not recognize.

For Kinshasa, Rwanda's objective is to "keep this part of the country unstable to continue its work of plunder" of the region's resources, particularly mining.

The document presented Thursday, which "complements" the previous one, summarizes the consequences of this situation in terms of "humanitarian, health, educational, social, economic, electoral" , detailed the government spokesperson.

Patrick Muyaya notably mentioned "more than 2.3 million displaced people" , hundreds of schools destroyed or occupied, "incalculable" damage to the Virunga national park, a "shortfall" in millions of dollars in revenue. customs...

This situation also has "an impact on the electoral process" , since, he explained, "the populations in the areas under occupation have not yet been enrolled" (registered on the electoral lists) for the general elections of next December.

“On the eve of our participation in the next General Assembly in New York, we wanted to present this situation ,” said Patrick Muyaya.

On the diplomatic level, he declared, "we recently appreciated the positions taken by the European Union and the American government which sanctioned two Rwandan officers" .

“It’s a good start (...), but this effort must continue,” he said, calling for “more vigorous actions on the part” of the DRC’s “partner” countries .

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