Kinshasa and Washington blame Rwanda after bombardment of displaced persons camp in Goma.

Not since the resurgence of war in North Kivu, a province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in late 2021, have bombings provoked such reactions. There are the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission (MONUSCO), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and many Western chancelleries. “Severely Condemned” Strike on Friday 3rd May on IDP camp in Goma.

Also Read | Washington demands Rwanda punish those responsible for attacks in DRC

At least five rockets exploded southwest of the regional capital, the center of conflict between the March 23 Movement (M23), an armed group backed by the Rwandan army, and pro-Congo forces made up of soldiers and militia. . Four days after the tragedy, the provincial health department recorded 18 deaths, mostly women and children. The number is likely to rise further from May 7 as 32 people have been injured, including 27 critically.

“This incident is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”France reacted. “A New Rise”Belgium adds; “Contrary to the spirit of the ceasefire called for by several ministers during a meeting in Angola in March”, AU insists. Of the many press releases published, only those from the DRC and the US blamed Rwanda. “How do you come to this ridiculous conclusion? Rwandan security forces [RDF], A professional army will never attack a camp of displaced people”Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo hit back on X social networks in response to a tweet by US State Department’s Matthew Miller.

Since the end of 2023, Washington has been trying to play mediator. A fifteen-day ceasefire negotiated by the Americans ended during Congolese elections in December. But Rwandan army units accompanying the M23 rebels never retreated, according to recent photos the world, contrary to Congolese authorities’ demands. Even worse, according to a security source close to Kinshasa, “It was during this ceasefire that Rwandan surface-to-air missiles crossed the border.”. The presence of these devices capable of destroying aircraft, helicopters or drones has been reported by the UN.

See also  War in Ukraine: Iran admits supplying drones to Russia

“Crossfire”

Although Kigali authorities do not officially recognize their presence in the DRC, they do not deny support for the M23. The country’s leader, Paul Kagame, has often recalled that he will take all necessary measures to protect his territory; And his administration has repeatedly condemned the lapses of power in Kinshasa, particularly after the May 3 bombings.

“Firing at point blank range by FARDC [l’armée congolaise] and Burundian armed forces deployed in DRC on protesters in camp for displaced people”. The Rwandan government charged in a press release. on the site « 8e Cepac”, the displaced people, shocked and with stones in their hands, spontaneously marched towards the governorate of Goma. At least one woman was killed “By Stray Bullet as Police Disperse Protesters”The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) represents

Also Read | In eastern DRC, military setbacks have left Goma insecure

Many sources also refer to the responsibility of military command. After a major offensive by M23 and the Rwandan army in February and the withdrawal of pro-government forces towards Goma, at least two Congolese artillery positions were established near camps for displaced people. A proximity with dire consequences for the population, as it finds itself “Stuck in the Crossroads” of the M23 and the Congolese army, condemns the NGO Médecins sans frontières (MSF) in X.

On the morning of May 3, Congolese artillery fire toward the M23-controlled mountains was heard at least thirty minutes before the blasts that hit civilians, multiple sources confirm, suggesting that these salvos may have been sent in retaliation. That of the FARDC.

See also  The state of Arizona in the United States has executed a prisoner since 2014

Follow us on WhatsApp

Stay informed

Get essential African news on WhatsApp with “Monde Afrique” channel

join in

Rwanda, the United States and MONUSCO are calling for an investigation. For its part, the DRC promises that the perpetrators will be held accountable before international justice. But so far, no independent agency has taken up the matter publicly.

Reuse this content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *