As reported by AfroAmerica Network, as the security situation in the DRC worsens and the human rights abuses in Rwanda have increased, pushing the US Government and the US Senate to be mulling over economic sanctions targeting Rwandan leaders, United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is already travelling in Africa, with a stay in Pretoria, South Africa, and scheduled visit in Kinshasa, DRC on August 9, 2022 and in Kigali, Rwanda on August 10, 2022 to address the matter (see USA-DR Congo-Rwanda: Is the USA Government Mulling Over Imposing Sanctions Against Rwandan Government Leaders Over RDC and Human Rights Abuses?). Meawhile, independent reports confirm that on August 4, 2022, the UN Security Council was presented a report by UN Experts confirming that the Rwandan military has been supporting, reinforcing, and arming and deploying troops within M23 Congolese rebels.
In the new report by UN experts to the U.N. Security Council, obtained by various media outlets, the experts document how Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), violated U.N. arms embargo against DRC. The RDF led a “direct intervention” into the DRC, conducting independent military operations and supporting the M23 rebel group. The report also points to the supply of uniforms, weapons, ammunitions, training, and other military support to M23 rebels, confirming to various reports by AfroAmerica Network since the beginning of the invasion.
AfroAmerica Network's reports were then based on accounts by witnesses located in the conflict areas and those close to the the governments of Rwanda and the DRC ( see here DR Congo: The UN and the Catholic Church Call For a Firm Action and the People to Stand up Against Rwanda and M23 Rebels and DRC-Uganda-Rwanda - Update: Rwandan Military Under Cover of Congolese M23 Rebels in Eastern DRC, Blame on FDLR and RUD-Urunana Rwandan Rebels, and Coup Attempts ).
The DRC invasions by M23 rebels and Rwandan troops have led to major humanitarian tragedies, including the massive displacements and killings of civilians due to systematiic attacks and indiscriminate bombings and shelling. The attacks have also targeted the UN peace keeping mission, MONUSCO, and led to violent popular protests against the UN mission and the Rwandan government.
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Accoding to the UN experts' report, in May 2022, Rwandan troops and the M23 jointly attacked the camp of the Congolese army, FARDC, in Rumangabo and later, in June 2022, took control of the town of Bunagana, a strategic border town close to Uganda and Rwanda.
As expected, the Rwandan government, through Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo, has rejected the UN Experts' findings, claiming that the report contains "false accusations" and is a “tactic to distract from real issues,” while curiously subtly admitting the invasion by saying that “Rwanda has a legitimate and sovereign right to defend our territory and citizens, and not just wait for disaster to unfold.”
The trip of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken to Kigali, Rwanda and to Kinshasa, DRC is expected to focus on the tensions between the two governments, the support of the Rwandan military to M23 rebels, the current dynamics in the whole region, and the discussions targeting the Rwandan government in the US Senate and the potential unprecedented and consequential sanctions.
However, many questions remain on the outcomes of that visit and the consequences on the Rwandan government.
AfroAmerica Network is still closely following the situation.
@AfroAmerica Network 2022