IPU rejects DRC’s request to condemn Rwanda

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organization of national parliaments have voted against the request of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to condemn Rwanda over alleged support to M23 rebel group.

The votes were held on Sunday following votes held in Manama, Bahrain at the 146th IPU General Assembly.

As proceedings of the assembly began, Congolese Parliamentarian, André Mbata Mangu made a request to include the call for Rwanda to stop backing M23, stop aggression, occupation and massive human rights violations in DRC emergency item in the Assembly agenda.

Before the voting process began, Senator Esperance Nyirasafari who led Rwanda’s delegation attending the IPU assembly was given floor for comments.

She explained that the concerns raised by Mbata are baseless claims aimed at covering the weakness of his country to solving its problems.

Nyirasafari further told parliamentarians that DR Congo is home to over 120 armed groups threatening security in the region.

She highlighted that DRC should take responsibility to solve internal problems that mired the country due to bad leadership instead of being stuck in blame games and putting them on the shoulders of Rwanda.

Nyirasafari urged DR Congo to stop spreading hate speeches and killings targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the country, particularly of Tutsi ethnicity.
She underscored that the country should consider political solution instead of military action.

The United Nations (UN) experts recently indicated that DRC work with armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) during the ongoing fighting against M23.

DRC formed the coalition despite being fully aware that the group was formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which claims lives of over 1 million victims.

Nyirasafari disclosed that durable peace cannot be achieved in the region yet DRC is not willing to decimate FDLR which also poses threat to Rwanda’s security.

She further clarified that Rwanda supports regional mechanisms to achieve sustainable peace noting that the country cannot remain silent when its security concerns are overlooked.

The remarks were followed by votes where 705 voted against the request, 88 supported it while 700 abstained.

The results saw the request which required endorsement by three thirds of voters rejected.

The IPU Assembly runs from 11th to 15th March 2023.