w/e 27th January 2023
Again, with the focus of most western commentators on Ukraine, less attention is being paid to the ongoing tensions between neighbouring Central African countries Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Historical antagonisms between the two states flared up again a year ago in March 2022 and have been simmering since.
In the Congo, the rebel group The March 23 Movement M23 or sometimes the Congolese Revolutionary Army), consisting mainly of ethic Tutsis, has been fighting the Congolese government for some time in the province of North Kivu. Although fighting has now died down, a UN investigation subsequently reported that M23 was probably organised and led by Rwanda.
In turn, Rwanda has accused the Congo of supporting the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a racist Hutu paramilitary group that was involved in the infamous Rwandan genocide of …
Both Rwanda and the Congo deny any involvement in sponsoring conflict in each other’s countries, but it’s quite clear they are being economical with the truth here. There have been several alleged attacks by Congolese and Rwandan forces on each other’s territory, and Rwandan forces have been caught crossing into the DRC multiple times, usually fighting alongside Congolese rebels.
Despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping mission there is no indication that such border skirmishes will not continue, and there is the danger that this could blow up into a full scale war if wiser heads do not prevail.
Lt Col Stuart Crawford’s latest book Tank Commander (Hardback) is available now