DR Congo and Rwanda agree to reduce tensions over M23 rebels | Armed Groups News

DRC says it has agreed ‘de-escalation course of’ with Rwanda following weeks of rising tensions over insurgent combating.

Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo have agreed to a “de-escalation course of” following one-day talks between their presidents, mediated by Angola, amid rising tensions over the actions of the M23 insurgent group, the Congolese presidency stated.

The 2 international locations will revive a Congo-Rwanda fee which can resume actions on July 12 within the Angolan capital, Luanda, the Congolese presidency stated in a press release posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

It additionally referred to as for a return to regular diplomatic relations between Kinshasa and Kigali, a cessation of hostilities and the “fast and unconditional withdrawal” of the M23 insurgent group from its positions in japanese DRC.

Angolan President Joao Lourenco was appointed by the African Union to mediate talks.

“I’m happy to announce that we’ve had constructive outcomes, in our view, in that we’ve agreed on a ceasefire, amongst different measures,” Lourenco stated in remarks on the finish of mini-tripartite summit attended by the DRC’s’s Felix Tshisekedi and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame within the Angolan capital Luanda.

There was no fast phrase on the talks from Rwanda.

Rwanda and the DRC had traded indignant statements stemming from allegations that Rwanda backs the M23, which is made up of principally Tutsi fighters from the DRC. The M23 final month seized an essential border submit of their most sustained offensive since capturing swathes of territory in 2012-2013.

Rwanda in flip accuses the DRC of supporting a bunch of rebels with members who allegedly took half in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Each international locations deny the allegations.

The DRC has accepted a proposal for an East African regional power to be deployed in its east to assist management the violence, however provided that Rwanda doesn’t participate.

The combating has compelled tens of hundreds to flee their houses in an space that has had little respite from battle since Rwanda and neighbouring Uganda invaded in 1996, citing threats from native militia teams.

About 170,000 folks have been displaced within the weeks since M23 resurfaced in japanese DRC. Wednesday’s summit referred to as for the return of all refugees to their international locations of origin, in keeping with the assertion from the Congolese presidency.

DRC accuses Rwanda of sending disguised soldiers across border | Military News

Kigali dismisses accusations as faux as tensions between the 2 nations escalate over resurgent violence in DRC’s east.

The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have accused Rwanda of sending particular forces in disguise into the nation’s territory, marking the most recent flashpoint in an escalating dispute between the 2 neighbours over resurgent violence in its east.

DRC’s navy alleged that 500 Rwandan troopers had been deployed within the Tshanzu space in North Kivu province, which borders Rwanda, in an announcement issued on Thursday.

It mentioned the troopers have been sporting a green-black uniform totally different from the common Rwandan attire. The assertion additionally known as on the native inhabitants to train warning in addition to denounce anybody seen in such clothes.

It added that M23 rebels, allegedly backed by Kigali, had attacked a gaggle of United Nations peacekeeping forces within the Rutshuru space, additionally in North Kivu, injuring three Tanzanian peacekeepers.

The Reuters information company quoted a spokesman for Rwanda’s military as saying the claims have been false. In the meantime, a authorities spokeswoman instructed Reuters that Kigali wouldn’t reply to baseless accusations.

Souring relations

Kinshasa has accused Kigali of actively supporting the M23 insurgent group, which in current weeks has been waging its most sustained offensive in japanese DRC since capturing huge swaths of territory there in 2012-13.

“At this time, it’s clear, there isn’t a doubt, Rwanda has supported the M23 to come back and assault the DRC”, President Felix Tshisekedi mentioned on Sunday on state tv.

The M23 is the most recent in a collection of ethnic Tutsi-led insurgent teams to stand up towards DRC forces, claiming to defend Tutsi pursuits towards ethnic Hutu armed teams.

Rwanda has denied this and in flip accused DRC’s military of firing into its personal territory and of combating alongside the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group run by ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda and are alleged to have been concerned within the nation’s 1994 genocide.

The simmering dispute has induced relations between the 2 states to bitter. On the finish of Might, lots of of Congolese attended an anti-Rwanda protest in Kinshasa.

In the meantime, the most recent combating in japanese DRC has pressured tens of hundreds to flee their properties in a area that has had little respite from battle since Rwanda and Uganda invaded in 1996, citing threats from native insurgent teams.

My story: Being an opposition figure in Rwanda | Opinions

In 1994, I used to be within the Netherlands, learning enterprise administration and financial system, when a genocide towards the Tutsi befell in my house nation, Rwanda. Within the area of 100 days, numerous individuals have been massacred in one of many worst episodes of ethnic cleaning in latest historical past.

I watched the experiences of political upheaval, struggling and dying coming from my beloved nation in horror. Regardless of being miles away, I felt compelled to do one thing, so I based a political occasion known as The United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDU-Inkingi).

After years of political activism within the Netherlands, in January 2010, I returned to Rwanda meaning to tackle a way more hands-on position within the nation’s politics. I meant to register FDU-Inkingi and run within the upcoming presidential election towards incumbent Paul Kagame.

I mentioned goodbye to my husband and three youngsters on the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for what I believed was going to be a really quick separation. I even promised my youngest son, who was as a consequence of flip eight later that 12 months, that I’d be again within the Netherlands to have fun his birthday with him. After all, I didn’t know that I’d miss that birthday, and lots of extra thereafter, as a consequence of political persecution.

On the day of my return to Rwanda, I visited the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre and gave a speech urging unity and reconciliation. I criticised the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Entrance’s (RPF)’s insurance policies for not being sufficiently inclusive, and demanded additionally they recognise and honour all of the others who had fallen sufferer to violence earlier than, throughout and after the genocide towards the Tutsi.

Simply three months later, I used to be arrested and dragged right into a politically motivated judiciary course of that included years of solitary confinement, relentless smear campaigns and a protracted, painful separation from my household.

In 2012, the Excessive Courtroom of Rwanda sentenced me to eight years in jail for “conspiring towards the federal government by use of battle and terrorism” and “genocide denial”. My speech on the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre, the place I known as for efficient reconciliation, was thought-about proof of genocide denial. After I appealed to the Supreme Courtroom, my sentence was prolonged from eight to fifteen years.

Instantly upon my imprisonment, I used to be positioned in solitary confinement within the notorious “1930” maximum-security jail in Kigali, the place I remained for 5 years.

In 2016, I used to be lastly shifted from solitary confinement and allowed to serve the remainder of my sentence together with the opposite inmates. However my isolation didn’t finish even then, as a result of jail authorities began transferring any prisoner who dared to speak to me to faraway prisons the place their kinfolk couldn’t go to them. The director of the jail solely put an finish to those transfers after I identified to her that these prisoners she despatched away spoke of me and my plight the place they have been transferred.

In 2014, whereas nonetheless in solitary confinement, I filed a declare towards the Rwandan authorities to the African Courtroom on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR). In 2016, simply because the AfCHPR was set to resolve on my declare, the federal government of Rwanda withdrew its declaration enabling people to file complaints with the court docket. Nonetheless, having already reviewed my declare, the AfCHPR concluded in 2017 that the Rwandan authorities had violated my rights to freedom of expression and satisfactory defence. The court docket additionally ordered the federal government to reimburse me and my household for the fabric and ethical prejudice I suffered throughout my prosecution and imprisonment. The federal government has not executed that court docket order to at the present time.

I used to be ultimately launched from jail beneath presidential grace in 2018 – after eight years of imprisonment. This pardon got here with two situations: I need to seem earlier than the first stage prosecutor of my place of residence, on the prosecution workplace as soon as a month and I need to search authorisation from the minister accountable for justice each time I want to go in a foreign country. These situations shall stop to use on the finish of the remaining interval of imprisonment, which I used to be imagined to serve until 2025. In case I’m sentenced for an additional offence or breaches, any of the aforementioned situations the granted mercy can be revoked.

After my launch, I launched a brand new political occasion, Improvement And Liberty For All (DALFA-Umurinzi), which strives to determine the rule of legislation and promote sustainable improvement in Rwanda. However my ordeal is way from over.

Though the Rwandan structure gives me with the best to political organisation, I’m nonetheless not permitted to register my political occasion or search official approval for it to function.

Furthermore, my detractors are nonetheless working onerous to show the general public towards me and discourage me from collaborating in politics in my homeland. I’m always being smeared as a “genocide denier”, a “terrorist” or somebody who helps a “genocidal ideology” or “Hutu supremacy”. Those that unfold these lies present no “proof” for his or her claims aside from my Hutu ancestry and the speech I delivered on the genocide memorial in 2010 – a speech wherein I merely identified that real reconciliation would stay elusive till we honour and keep in mind all of the victims of all of the crimes dedicated throughout that darkish interval in our nation’s historical past.

Sarcastically, the USA and the UK, Rwanda’s closest and most influential allies, share the view that failing to honour the various Hutus and others killed through the genocide paints an incomplete image of this darkish chapter in my nation’s historical past – my detractors, curiously, by no means dare to accuse them of “genocide denial”.

Those that need to silence and intimidate me additionally proceed to baselessly model me a terrorist, regardless of the AfCHPR ’s conclusion that my 2012 terror conviction was primarily based on nothing however fabricated testimonies of coerced witnesses.

However for all of the ache and struggling I’ve endured in Rwanda, my most profound ache is for the years I used to be compelled to spend away from my husband and youngsters. I’ve not been allowed to go away Rwanda since arriving right here in 2010. The son I promised to see on his eighth birthday is now 19 years previous, and I’ve not seen him for the previous 12 years. He grew as much as be a musician and not too long ago launched a music known as “Lengthy Manner” wherein he recounts how painful it has been for him to develop up with out his mom. I do hope to see him once more within the close to future.

Like some other father or mother, I all the time dreamed of attending my youngsters’s weddings. Nevertheless, when my solely daughter received married, I used to be in jail. Just lately my oldest son additionally received married. As I nonetheless can not go away Rwanda with out the justice minister’s permission, I utilized to the ministry. However my software was ignored. Because of this, I needed to watch the marriage on my laptop at my house in Kigali. I do hope to see all my household once more within the close to future.

Neither the continued assaults towards me, nor being evaded my household for years dented my love for Rwanda or broke my resolve to serve my nation, however I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I don’t worry for my life. I’m fearful as a result of lots of my key supporters have been killed or mysteriously disappeared over the previous 12 years.

In October 2018, Boniface Twagirimana, the deputy chief of the FDU-Inkingi, went lacking whereas in a high-security jail. In March 2019, Anselme Mutuyimana, my assistant, was discovered useless in a forest. The resultant investigation revealed that he was strangled. In July 2019, Eugene Ndereyimana, an FDU-Inkingi consultant within the japanese province of Rwanda, went lacking to by no means be heard from once more. In September 2019, Syldio Dusabumuremyi, nationwide coordinator for FDU-Inkingi, was stabbed to dying by two unidentified males. In Might 2020, Théophile Ntirutwa, a member of my occasion, survived an assassination try. He was later imprisoned beneath politically motivated costs and stays behind bars to at the present time. In June 2020, Venant Abayisenga, my shut aide, left his home to purchase some credit score for his telephone and has not been seen or heard from since.

The Rwandan Investigation Bureau is but to announce any findings on any of those murders and compelled disappearances. The one factor that offers me some peace of thoughts is the truth that I’ve a surveillance staff following me on a regular basis.

Fortunately, my experiences as an opposition determine in Rwanda haven’t solely been detrimental. Really, regardless of all of the assaults and obstacles I confronted in my political journey, at each flip I’ve discovered new causes to maintain going. My fellow residents’ help all through this painful odyssey – each from inside and out of doors Rwanda – has fortified me with braveness and saved my hopes for a greater future alive. Regardless of lots of my supporters being killed, jailed or disappeared, new ones saved rising, prepared to offer me a hand both by conveying my political message at native and worldwide ranges or merely serving to me with my on a regular basis life.

Furthermore, the persecution I confronted by the hands of Rwandan authorities raised my profile in Rwanda and past. From assembly individuals in jail and later touring and speaking to individuals from numerous backgrounds throughout Rwanda and throughout the diaspora, I had the chance to take heed to the grievances of numerous Rwandans and share my political imaginative and prescient with them. My household’s fearless help has additionally been priceless all through these years. In 2020, my daughter and her two youngsters even managed to go to me in Kigali.

My story is just one instance of widespread political oppression in Rwanda. This unending cycle of political violence just isn’t solely devastating our nation and our individuals, but in addition inflicting instability within the wider Nice Lakes area. But it surely doesn’t need to be this manner.

If the federal government agrees to enter into a real dialogue with the political opposition in addition to Rwandan civil society organisations at house and within the diaspora, we will construct a brand new, actually democratic Rwanda and produce stability to the Nice Lakes area. To indicate how this may be achieved, in June 2021, along with fellow opposition determine Me Bernard Ntaganda, we revealed the “roadmap for a promising way forward for Rwanda”. On this doc, we laid out the straightforward steps the federal government can take to interrupt the cycle of violence, allow true reconciliation, defend human rights and produce prosperity to our nation.

I don’t maintain any grudge towards anybody for what I’ve been by means of, however I additionally don’t have any intention of giving up the battle. I really like my nation, however I’m deeply anxious about its future. If the federal government continues with the persecution of dissenting voices, the longer term will carry nothing however extra struggling for our individuals.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Top church cleric criticises UK plan to send migrants to Rwanda | Migration News

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the UK’s plan to ship asylum seekers to Rwanda goes towards God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England’s highest cleric, has criticised the British authorities’s plan to ship asylum seekers to Rwanda to course of their claims for refuge.

In his Easter Day sermon, Justin Welby added his voice to the widespread criticism the scheme has sparked, saying “subcontracting out our tasks, even to a rustic that seeks to do effectively, like Rwanda, is the alternative of the character of God who himself took accountability for our failures”.

Talking at Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England, Welby mentioned that whereas “the main points are for politics and politicians, the precept should stand the judgement of God — and it can’t”.

Welby mentioned that sending asylum seekers abroad posed “critical moral questions”.

Such a transfer “is the alternative of the character of God”, the church chief mentioned.

On Tuesday, the UK and Rwanda introduced that they’d reached an settlement to ship some individuals who arrive within the UK as stowaways on vehicles, or in small boats, to the East African nation, the place their asylum claims will likely be processed and, if profitable, they’ll keep.

The deal — for which the UK has paid Rwanda $158m — leaves many questions unanswered, together with the ultimate value and the way asylum seekers will likely be chosen. The UK says youngsters, and households with youngsters, won’t be despatched to Rwanda.

“Egregious breach of worldwide legislation”

The scheme has sparked outrage and widespread criticism from refugee and human rights organisations, which known as the plan inhumane, unworkable and a waste of taxpayers’ cash.

The United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) condemned the scheme as an “egregious breach of worldwide legislation” and “opposite to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Conference”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Occasion authorities says the plan will discourage folks from making harmful makes an attempt to cross the English Channel, and it’ll put people-smuggling gangs out of enterprise.

Greater than 28,000 migrants entered the UK throughout the Channel final 12 months, up from 8,500 in 2020.

Dozens have died, together with 27 folks in November when a single boat capsized.

Unveiling the controversial plan final week, Johnson acknowledged there might be authorized challenges by what he known as “politically motivated attorneys” out to “frustrate the federal government”.

He additionally pledged to do “no matter it takes” to make sure the plan works.


Political opponents accuse Johnson of utilizing the headline-grabbing coverage to distract consideration from his political troubles.

Johnson is resisting calls to resign after being fined by police for attending a celebration in his workplace in 2020 that broke his personal authorities’s coronavirus lockdown guidelines.

The House Workplace, which is accountable for implementing the Rwanda switch coverage, mentioned that Britain had settled lots of of 1000’s of refugees from all over the world. Nevertheless it argues that Britain’s present system of resettlement is “damaged” and pointed to unprecedented international migratory pressures.

Senior civil servants on the House Workplace had raised considerations in regards to the coverage however have been overruled by House Secretary Priti Patel, who mentioned that it will be “imprudent” to delay a measure that “we imagine will cut back unlawful migration, save lives, and in the end break the enterprise mannequin of the smuggling gangs”.

Alf Dubs, a Labour Occasion member of the Home of Lords who got here to Britain as a baby refugee in 1939, mentioned the plan was possible “a breach of the 1951 Geneva conventions on refugees”.

He mentioned the Lords, the British Parliament’s higher chamber, would problem the transfer.