By Henry Gombya
A Rwanda opposition political party has accused the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of carrying out acts of ethnic cleansing against the peoples of Kivu provinces. In a letter to congratulate President Barack Obama upon his re-election as President of the United States, John Karuranga, President of the Rwanda Peoples Party (RPP) said the DRC is by using racism, hatred, segregation and persecution to target the ‘vulnerable and minority people’ of Kivu because of their ethnicity and physical appearance.
Karuranga used his letter to make an appeal to President Obama to support the efforts of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) which is trying to bring about reconciliation between the DRC and Rwanda with the former accusing the latter of supporting M23 rebels that have been fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila. The RPP accused the DRC of having only recently violated the territorial integrity of Rwanda by allowing 100 FARDC soldiers to cross into Rwanda where they allegedly went on the rampage shooting at Rwanda soldiers. Karuranga’s letter says at least two people were killed during this incursion into his country.
But DRC’s Information Minister Lambert Mende said the fighting started early on Thursday with an attack by the M23 on a Congolese army, or FARDC position at Kibumba, some 30 kilometers north of Goma, capital of North Kivu province. “They tried to make a move towards Goma but they were stopped by FARDC troops,” Mende said. “They had lost six people by midday. It seems this was a large action because they came from various directions, but the FARDC with the assistance of MONUSCO managed to repulse them.” At least 200,000 people, many of them children, are believed to be on the run from Kivu
Karuranga thanked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for the efforts he has made in trying to resolve the DRC crisis. “I have no doubt that your government clearly understands the importance of the critical and influential role Uganda is playing in global peace and security initiatives, in particular in Somalia and CAR,” he wrote.