DR Congo: The French Government Strongly Condemns Attacks in the Eastern Province of Kivu by Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) Under the Cover of M23 Rebels

KAHUNGA position,  6 km North of the town of  KIWANJA, where the Radar of RDF Forces was located.

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On Saturday February 17, 2024, while the African Union was holding a Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the United States Government strongly condemned the worsening violence and war crimes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) committed  by the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) troops under the cover of M23 rebels.  Now, a few days later, on February 20, 2024 the French Government has  leaned into the same direction, with the same unambiguous tone. The strong condemnations by the US  and the French Governments  have fueled the expectations  on the next steps of actions  by the international community and world powers against the top Rwandan government and military leaders.

The condemnation  by the French Government was contained in a press statement released by the French Ministère De L'Europe et Des Affaires Étrangères ( Europe and Foreign Affairs Ministry). Like the US Government, the French Government has highlighted, once again,  that the M23 rebels is a proxy group, under the cover which Rwandan troops have invaded Eastern DRC (see DR Congo: US Government Strongly Condemns Attacks in the Eastern Province of Kivu by Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) Under the Cover of M23 Rebels).

For several days, intense fighting has opposed the Congolese army, FARDC,  to  the  Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) troops, under the cover of M23,  near the town of Sake, only about ten kilometers from the city of Goma, capital of the North Kivu province. 

For the French Government, this escalation has violated the territorial integrity of DR Congo and increased the risks for millions of civilians.

"France is very concerned by the situation in Eastern Congo, in North Kivu and in particular around Goma and Saké. Attacks on the territorial integrity of the DRC and the situation of civilian populations are unacceptable.... The M23 must stop fighting immediately and withdraw from all areas it occupies, in accordance with the decisions taken as part of the Luanda process." the press statement reads. 


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French Government 's  Open Rebuke of Rwandan Military: What is Next?

The press statement by the French Government  goes further, directly pointing the finger to the Rwandan military,  the true forces behind the invasion and worsening security and humanitarian situation, stating that : ” France condemns the continuation of the M23 offensives with the support of Rwanda, and the presence of Rwandan forces on Congolese territory... We call on Rwanda to cease all support for the M23 and to withdraw from Congolese territory. France calls on all armed groups to put an end to the violence...”

The press statement also contains a warning to the DRC Government against cooperating with the Rwandan rebels known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

“In accordance with their commitments, the armed forces of the DRC must cease all collaboration with the FDLR,” urge the French Government.

However, as highlighted in the previous reports,  the recent reports by UN Experts, especially the mid-term report of December 30, 2023, have already shown that it is rather the Rwandan Defense Forces using FDLR soldiers into its troops deployed in the DRC. In fact,  the report states the following and shows the pictures taken of RDF forces combined with FDLR soldiers :

" According to former M23 combatants and intelligence sources, since early October 2023, RDF soldiers from five different battalions were deployed in Nyiragongo, Rutushuru and Masisi territories. RDF and M23 were supported by several combat support and reconnaissance teams totalling 250 former FDLR combatants and operating under the command of the Rwanda Defence Intelligence Department (DID)."

Reading the latest press statements by both the US and French governments, most independent observers and AfroAmerican Network contacts close to the DR Congo and Rwandan government leaders  have  been converging to the fact that current Rwandan political and military leaders, not long ago close to and praised by French and US governments have lost their support and should be ready for the floods against their regime (see Niger - France - Rwanda: Niger President Mohamed Bazoum To Expel Rwandans Allegedly Under Pressure From France's Emmanuel Macron and Rwanda's Paul Kagame, Breaking United Nations Agreement.)

They have all  been agreeing  to the  fact that,  as  the US and French governments have  significantly voiced their  disapproval of the aggressive and bloody  behavior of the  Rwandan government, these governments and the  international community may be getting ready to move to the next steps, including potential sanctions against some top leaders of the Rwandan government and military institutions. 

AfroAmerica Network is still following the dynamics.

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