Rwanda violates Congo's territorial integrity, says Belgian Foreign minister

Belgian Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib on Wednesday joined other countries in calling on Rwanda to stop supporting the M23 rebellion and withdraw its troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lahbib is currently on a working visit to Rwanda and the DRC.

"You have to dare to call things as they are," Lahbib said at the end of her visit. Congo's "territorial integrity" is being violated by its neighbour "with a risk of destabilisation".

Reports by UN experts have for several months mentioned the presence of Rwandan troops on Congolese territory in support of the M23 rebels, who are predominantly Tutsi, as is Rwanda's government. Rwanda denies supporting the M23 movement.

A clear aggressor

"There is clearly an aggressor" on Congolese territory "and the presence of Rwandan troops in support of the M23 has been proven". More and more countries are "openly calling on Rwanda to withdraw", Lahbib said.

The UN, the US, France, Belgium, the EU and others have all formally called on Rwanda to withdraw its troops from eastern Congo, where they support the M23 rebels who occupy large parts of North Kivu.

During her visit to Kinshasa, Lahbib met Congolese officials including outgoing prime minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge, prime minister-elect Judith Suminwa Tuluka and Foreign minister Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen'Apala.



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