Rwanda told to stop supporting rebels in Congo
MAPUTO SOUTHERN African leaders on Saturday slammed Rwanda for supporting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a threat to regional stability and urged Kigali to immediately stop its “interference”.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) resolved to send a mission to Rwanda as it wrapped up a two day annual summit in the Mozambican capital.
“Summit noted with great concern that the security situation in the eastern part of DRC has deteriorated in the last three months causing displacement of people, loss of lives and property,” said Thomas Salamao, executive secretary.
“(The) summit noted with great concern that the security situation in the eastern part of DRC has deteriorated in the last three months causing displacement of people, loss of lives and property,” said executive secretary Thomas Salamao.
“This is being perpetrated by rebel groups with the assistance of Rwanda,” he said, adding that the summit “urged the latter to cease immediately its interference that constitutes a threat to peace and stability not only to the DRC but also to the SADC region.” A quarter of a million people have fled the eastern DRC since April when the rebel movement (March 23) M23 took up arms against government troops.
Reading the bloc’s final communique, Salamao highlighted the group that Rwanda President Paul Kagame was accused of supporting with arms and ammunition in a June United Nations report which prompted several countries to suspend aid.
“Summit mandated a mission to Rwanda to urge them to stop support for the M23 he said.
The strong tone on the DR Congo, part of the 15-member bloc, did not extend to the region’s perennial sticking points of Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Intensified dialogue with Madgascar’s feuding leaders was urged to put an SADCbacked road map ahead of a vote meant to end a stand-off since former leader Marc Ravalomanana was ousted in 2009.
“We are here to find a solution to the crisis, above all a lasting solution for peace and stability in Madagascar,” the island’s transitional leader Andry Rajoelina told AFP on the sidelines of the summit.