What you need to know:
- Although Rwanda denies, the DR Congo alleges that Mr Kagame has been supporting the M23 rebels hence they will not accept Rwanda’s participation in the region’s military force.
The remarks made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame about being excluded from the regional military force have sparked mixed reactions among people, with some people backing him.
While appearing on Rwanda’s state-owned broadcaster on Monday, Mr Kagame reportedly said he would not mind his country being excluded from a regional military force battling rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
“If anybody’s coming from anywhere, excluding Rwanda, but will provide the solution that we’re all looking for, why would I have a problem?” Al Jazeera quoted Mr Kagame as having said.
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Although Rwanda denies, the DR Congo alleges that Mr Kagame has been supporting the M23 rebels hence they will not accept Rwanda’s participation in the region’s military force, .
Uganda’s representative to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde, yesterday supported Mr Kagame’s stance saying the regional force is intended to solve problems in DR Congo, not in Rwanda.
Mr Mbidde noted that the contribution should be from all the armies of the East African Community (EAC) member states, with an intention of bringing peace in DR Congo.
“The problem can be solved by a lot more than just the contribution of the army by otherwise enthusiastic East African Community countries, but holding a substantial dialogue on both the history and current affairs of DRC. So President Kagame was right because he has always contributed to efforts of pacifying DRC,” Mr Mbidde said.
However, Mr Mbidde wondered how the regional force would address the DRC issue, arguing that the UN tried but failed.
In April, all the member East African Community (EAC) unanimously agreed to establish a regional military bloc to contain anarchy sparked by militia groups in the eastern part of the DR Congo.
The regional military bloc, members argued, would reinforce their security in terms of border protection.
Mr Mbidde partly attributed DR Congo’s woes to Multinatinational companies which he said are only interested in the exploration of minerals than developing the area.
Makerere University histrorian Mwambusya Ndebesa said that though Mr Kagame would want his forces to be in DR Congo and make a contribution, the latter’s president Felix Tshisekedi doesn’t want him to be there.
“But in terms of geopolitics, Uganda is benefiting because it will have another official opportunity to be in Congo and fight Uganda’s adversaries in DRC because by being there, they will possibly be able to locate them,” Mr Mwambusya said.