THE Democratic Republic of Congo government has condemned fresh deployment of Rwanda soldiers in its territory and called for their immediate withdrawal,
The minister in charge of the peace process in the Kinshasa government, Vital Kamhere, said Rwanda had breached the terms of agreement signed in Pretoria, South Africa, between Presidents Joseph Kabila (above) and Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame.
The agreement provided for the withdrawal of all Rwanda troops and dismantling of the Interahamwe cells in the DRC.
â€œIt is not justified for Rwanda to re-deploy in Congo because the Ugandan troops are here. They must leave because we donâ€™t want an occupation force here,â€ Kamhere said.
He said Rwanda had re-deployed more than 2,000 troops on the DRC soil.
Kamhere said Ugandaâ€™s representative to the Ituri Pacification Commission, Brig. Kale Kaihura, assured IPC in yesterdayâ€™s plenary sitting that the UPDF would be withdrawn by April 24 if the IPC took charge of the security of the area.
The IPC conference is being held here amid tight security provided by Ugandaâ€™s Military Police (red tops) who were airlifted to Bunia last week.
He said Rwandaâ€™s move towards Ituri was unacceptable because Ituri is far from the Rwanda-Congo border.
â€œIf there are any problems along the Uganda-Congo border we can solve them with the Ugandan neighbours who border Ituri,â€ he said.
His comments came ahead of yesterdayâ€™s crucial meeting in Pretoria of Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Kabila, Kagame and South Africa President Thabo Mbeki.
The details of the meeting were not available by press time.
The UPDF recently said Rwanda had deployed two brigades in the areas of Kanyabayonga and Butembo, disguised as RCD Goma rebels.
But Kagame on Tuesday said his forces were not in DRC territory. He said his forces would pursue the Interahamwe genocidaires wherever they are in the DRC.
Kamhere said Rwanda was trying to fight a proxy war using a new Goma-based militia group, the Local Defence Forces (LDF), under command of chief Serufuli, and previously through Thomas Lubangaâ€™s Union of Patriotic Congolese rebel group.
â€œRwanda has developed a new strategy of fighting using militias who are not signatories to the IPC. Their strategy is to continue with the war in the Congo,â€ Kamhere said.
Kabila Orders Rwanda Forces Out