Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

15 November 2012

Rwanda Calls On FARDC and M23 to Stop Renewed Fighting

The government has urged the Congolese army (FARDC) and M23 to stop fighting and respect the decisions of the ICGLR on cessation of hostilities in DRC.

In a press release, Foreign Affairs Minister and government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo expressed concerns that the new fighting will undermine the ongoing ICGLR peace process. "The resumption of fighting between FARDC and M23 violates directives agreed by the 11 member states of the ICGLR who are working to restore much needed peace in the Eastern DRC."

She further added that as the violence is close to Rwanda's border, it has direct repercussions on Rwanda. "We have already seen civilians injured today from stray bullets on Rwandan territory as well as renewed influx of Congolese refugees. We do not want any further casualties."

Mushikiwabo urges that the violent activities of the FARDC, M23 and other armed groups in DRC must stop because they continue to jeopardize ongoing regional efforts to bring about lasting peace and security in Eastern DRC. "We look forward to the findings of the ICGLR Joint Verification Mechanism that is already on the ground, and Joint Intelligence Fusion Centre on this situation and hope that this will facilitate immediate containment."

The expanded Joint Verification Mechanism was previously a bilateral arrangement between Rwanda and DRC designed to verify allegations against either side that was enlarged in September to include representatives from all the ICGLR member states.

The yesterday's renewed fighting follows a three-month ceasefire.

According to our sources in Rubavu district (Western province), during the fighting, some of the bombs (an estimated number of 8 rockets) reached Rwanda's soil causing harm to no one. At the time it is, 2500 Congolese refugees have already crossed the border to Rwanda, some of them refusing to join the Nkamira transit Camp because they await the fighting to stop so that they can join they homes in Goma (DRC).

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