US and DRC's partners call on Rwanda to punish forces over attack

The United States has called on Rwanda to punish forces behind an attack in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Both Kinshasa and the US accuse Kigali of meddling in DRC's affairs.

The State Department on Friday accused Rwandan forces of joining M23 rebels in the attacks on a camp for internally displaced people in the outskirts of the eastern city of Goma that resulted in the death of over a dozen people.

Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo however, retorted that the US accusation was "ridiculous". In a statement published on X, he said that Rwanda had a "professional army" that would "never attack" a camp for displaced people.

Asked Monday if the United States stood by its claim, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, "We absolutely do."

He added, "The government of Rwanda must investigate this heinous act and hold all those responsible accountable. And we have made that clear to them."

Rwanda's alleged role

The United States has long said there was evidence to support charges by Kinshasa that Rwanda is backing the M23 rebels, who are mostly ethnic Tutsis who resumed their armed campaign in the historically turbulent country in 2021.

Nevertheless, the latest US statement marked an unusually direct accusation of Rwandan involvement.

Kigali insisted on Sunday that the claims it had a role in the camp attack were "unjustified" and accused the United States of "scapegoating" Rwanda.

More accusations

Lt. Colonel Ndjike Kaiko, a Congolese army spokesperson also blamed the attacks on M23.


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