On Thursday, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo appeared before both chambers of parliament to give explanations concerning Eastern DR Congo.
Minister Mushikiwabo said that while Monusco and the international community have been accusing Rwanda of supporting the mutineers in that area, new information reaching Rwanda’s ministry of foreign affairs shows that instead, Monusco is turning a blind eye to the FDLR.
“Those who were supposed to fight the militia have put their arms down and are living like partners. Monusco has to be ashamed because instead of solving the problem, they are backing mutineers,” she said.
“When the international community fails to take responsibility, they have to find someone to blame. Instead of finding an appropriate solution for the Congo unrest, they are speculating about Rwanda supporting the mutiny,” she added.
Furthermore, the Minister questioned MONUSCO’s efficiency in the DRC. “MONUSCO has been in Congo for 13 years now, but we don’t have an idea of what it has been doing. With a force of 20,000 individuals, they have failed to protect people,” she remarked.
Mushikiwabo further said that MONUSCO’s failure is confirmed by numerous refugees who have reached Rwanda. “Most of the refugees who have fled the Eastern Congo revealed that they were injured in Monusco’s protected zone. That tells us something about what Monusco is doing there,” she observed.
She also stressed that Rwanda, as a member state of the UN, has to take responsibility and put a finger on the mistakes made by its mission. “Monusco is UN’s ‘prodigal son;’ it doesn’t have to be rejected but to be treated like a failure,” the Minister argued.
MPs for their part also expressed disappointment toward UN peace keeping forces. “It’s a cyclic history,” senator Joseph Karemera argued. “During the 1994 Genocide, the UN withdrew its forces and left people at the mercy of the genocidaires. Now, in DR Congo it’s almost the same thing; Monusco is watching without reacting, the Kinyarwanda-speaking community in Congo being exterminated.”
According to Karemera, Monusco cooperating with militia doesn’t help the Congolese except to make matters worse.
For Christine Mukarubuga, the question is not of Monusco being unable to intervene, but unwilling. “With all the means they have I don’t believe they should fear anyone,” she said. “They simply do not want to intervene for some reasons. They are not willing to play their part in the issue.”
Source: JEAN-CHRISTOPHE NSANZIMANA, 22.06.12, Rwanda Focus