DRC Parliament debates 'Rwanda question' in cameraBy JUAKALI KAMBALE in Kinshasa | Thursday, May 31 2012 at 17:34
The troubled situation eastern DR Congo came up for debate in the country’s National Assembly on May 30.
The debate was introduced by Martin Fayulu, an opposition MP. He wanted to know what was happening on the ground in North Kivu province where M23 rebels are fighting the army.
He also wanted to know what kind of “secret deal” the DRC government had signed or wanted to sign with Rwanda to restore peace along the common border.
“I am worried by the endless wars and rebellions in the eastern part of the Republic ever since 1996 and by the suffering of our people living over there while the various governments fail to find appropriate solutions,” he said.
“The DRC people want clarifications.”
The government is suspected to have signed a secret deal with Rwanda allowing the Rwandan army to pursue Hutu militia of FDLR hiding in the DRC.
The issue has turned ‘hot’ after a recent UN report accused Rwanda of backing the Congo rebels with weapons and fighters.
Defence minister Alexandre Lubal Tamu and his Internal Affairs counterpart Charles Muyej have been summoned by the National Assembly to explain what is going on.
According to the UN observer mission (MONUSCO) based in Goma in eastern DRC, some 11 fighters belonging to the M23 movement who had surrendered in Jomba told the mission that they were recruited in Rwanda supposedly to join the Rwandan army but instead were sent to DRC to reinforce the M23 movement.
The National Assembly debate on the matter had been highly anticipated across the DRC and more so in eastern part of the country.
But due to the alleged delicacy of the topic, the National Assembly president Aubin Minaku decided to hold the debate in camera.
“Due to the fact that our troops are currently fighting the M23 movement in North Kivu province, there is no need to openly discuss the issue in the National Assembly. Thus, the issue will be debated in camera”, he declared.
According to UN sources in the city of Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province, intelligence services of both Rwanda and DRC are verifying the IDs of the 11 presumed Rwandan soldiers who had been sent to fight together with M23. The men claim they were recruited in the village of Mundende in Rwanda but were obliged to hand over their IDs to the recruiting officers.
“We are awaiting the outcome of the inquiries before confirming if or not Rwanda is involved in the recruitment of Rwandan nationals to fight the DRC army in North Kivu province,” Information minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende told reporters.
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