8 December 2012

Rwanda: Parliament to Investigate DRC Allegations

After observing a minute of silence in honour of the late Aloisea Inyumba, who passed away on Thursday, an extraordinary parliamentary session yesterday, approved the setting up of a special eight-member team to investigate why Rwanda's rebuttal to the United Nation Security Council over allegations that it is backing a rebellion in the Democratic Republic of Congo was ignored.

The committee that has senators; Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana [Team leader], Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, Donatille Mukabalisa, Marie Claire Mukasine, and Deputies; Jeanne d'Arc Uwimanimpaye, Gideon Kayinamura, Adolphe Bazatoha, and Constance Rwaka Mukayuhi is tasked to gather and analyse available documentary evidence highlighting Rwanda's security problems and challenges connected to the conflict in eastern DRC.

Once it concludes its work, its findings will be submitted to the UN and the international community, the Speaker said.

Addressing the session, the Speaker, Rose Mukantabana revealed that the House's Bureaux (top leadership) has been meeting to consider the modalities of establishing the committee following Tuesday's consultative session with the ministers of defence, foreign affairs and finance, about the allegations.

She said that during the consultative session, MPs and the ministers concluded that the biggest challenge was the role played dissidents in influencing international opinion against Rwanda.

"It was made clear that members of Parliament must look into and thoroughly investigate, the nature of this problem."

"This committee will work to show the special characteristics of eastern DRC and its relations with Rwanda based on past and recent history; colonialism; governance; human rights and other issues."

"It will as well look into and highlight the consequences of the problems of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi in terms of the issues of peace and security as is in eastern DRC, especially the role of the FDLR which is most often and ignored by the UN, international organizations and some of the powerful countries."

MP Mukamurangwa asked whether the committee will be facilitated to extend their investigations outside the country.

The Speaker noted that the Bureaux discussed all these issues, at length.

"These are operational issues and, for example, if they at any one time realize that they need an expert in any specific domain, they shall ask parliament's permission and we shall grant it. If they ever want to travel to DRC and examine the activities of MONUSCO, or to any other country, they will request for it. We considered all these issues."

The Government of Rwanda is concerned that the UN and development partners have paid no attention to its exhaustive rebuttal to the allegations that it is backing a rebellion in the neighbouring DRC where a new rebellion that started fomenting early this year has recently threatened to disrupt peace in the region.

MPs observes that there is a wide web of foreign interests, especially countries, organizations and corporations from outside the region with vested interests that are not interested in seeing stability reign in the east of resource rich DRC.

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