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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

DR Congo Halts Rwanda Flights over Alleged Support for Rebels


Sat 28 May 2022 | 09:30 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

DR Congo suspended RwandAir flights to the nation on Saturday, accusing Rwanda's government of backing the M23 rebel group, which has resumed its onslaught near their shared border.

Rwanda's ambassador was called by the Kinshasa government to voice Rwanda's dissatisfaction of its neighbor's "recipist attitude."

The decision was made after Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi attended an unprecedented national security meeting on Friday.

RwandAir, Rwanda's flag carrier, announced in a statement that all flights to Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Goma will be cancelled "with immediate effect."

Kinshasa stated that it was reacting to a new round of violence by M23 in the country's east, which erupted last month after almost a decade of relative calm.

Last week, the gang got as near as 20 kilometres (12 miles) to Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo, and briefly took the army's largest facility in the area.

The Congolese government claims to have discovered military equipment purportedly provided by Rwanda, as well as testimonials from local citizens and soldiers, all of which point to a relationship between M23 and its neighbour.

Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya said that a warning was issued to Rwandans, whose actions are likely to sabotage the peace process... where all armed organisations, with the exception of the M23, are dedicated to peace.

M23 has been labelled a terrorist organisation by the government, according to Muyaya, and will be excluded from peace talks taking place in Kenya with armed groups engaged in eastern DRC.

Kinshasa also accuses Kigali of sabotaging the East African Community's (EAC) peace process, which is being mediated by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who now holds the rotating presidency.

Rwanda denies assisting the insurgents, and relations between the two nations have deteriorated dramatically in the last month.

Rwanda accused the Democratic Republic of Congo of supporting another rebel group that kidnapped two of its soldiers along the shared border this week.