Rwanda-DR Congo - Diplomacy

DRC expels Rwandan envoy from Kinshasa

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Rwanda’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been expelled from Kinshasa over suspicion his country was behind recent battlefield successes of the M23 rebel movement, APA can report from Kigali.

“The Rwandan ambassador to the DRC, Vincent Karega, has 48 hours to leave the country by President Félix Tshisekedi at the end of a Higher Defense Council held on Sunday afternoon, after the capture of the cities of Kiwanja and Rutshuru-Centre by M23 rebels, supported by Kigal,” reported Politico, a pro-Kinshasa media outlet.

It did not give any further detail about the president's decision.

Rwanda has not commented.

Since President Tshisekedi came to power, his government had made no secret of its suspicion that Rwanda was supporting the M23, an accusation Kigali had repeatedly denied.

French President Emmanuel Macron last month brokered talks between Tshisekedi and Rwandan leader Paul Kagame n a bid to facilitate dialogue and clear mutual mistrust between Kinshasa and Kigali.

On Saturday, the Congolese leader tweeted he was convening a defence council meeting which dwelled on national security in relation to the evolution of the security situation in the east of the country.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Patrick Muyaya in a televised statement said bluntly that Karega’s expulsion was because of his country's persistent backing of the M23 in its incursion inside the DR Congo.

The higher councl meeting was held against the backdrop of the rebel group's capture of the town of Kiwanja in eastern Congo on Saturday, effectively cutting North Kivu’s capital Goma off from the upper half of the province.

According to witnesses, battle hardened M23 fighters entered the town where they encountered no significant resistance after a short burst of gunfire on Saturday morning.

Congolese army contingent protecting the town had retreated the previous day, residents said.


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