24 June 2014

Rwanda Dismisses Leaked Report of ICGLR Verification Team

Photo: Radio Okapi
DR Congo Army the FARDC.

Following the cross border incident between Congolese Army (FARDC) and Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) on 11 June 2014, Rwanda officially requested the ICGLR Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to investigate and report on the incident.

However, the RDF was shocked to read the content of a leaked copy of an alleged EJVM report in the media, and for that reason, the RDF wishes to inform the public the following:

1. The reference to the leaked document as an "EJVM report" is in itself misleading. EJVM reports are documents signed by all members and submitted to the ICGLR's Defence Committee. Such is not the case for the document being currently circulated in the media.

2. The leaked document is factually and methodologically wrong on several counts. For example, Google Earth cannot constitute a credible reference for border demarcations. As a matter of fact, uncontested coordinates of Kanyesheja I&II, when plotted on the topographical map, indicates clearly that Kanyesheja II hill is on Rwandan territory.

3. Choosing to solely rely on Google Earth instead of plotting the coordinates on the actual topographical map, the EJVM would have made a blatant and deeply misleading mistake.

4. The act of leaking the report runs counter to the established procedures of the ICGLR and does not in any way help in addressing the security concerns of member States and promoting confidence building; which is the fundamental reason the ICGLR Heads of State established the EJVM in the first place.

5. There is no known border dispute between Rwanda and DRC as alleged in the leaked "EJVM report". Such a dispute would have been addressed to the African Union Border Program which handles those matters on the basis of legitimate reference documents.

The RDF avails itself to provide factual and detailed information based on credible references.

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