As tensions rise between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda on Tuesday said will retaliate if it suffers further attacks from its neighbour, its foreign minister said.
“If attacks continue, we will not sit idly by… Rwanda will have the right to respond to protect the security of the country, to protect the security of its citizens and we have the means to do that,” Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta told reporters in Kigali.
Vincent Biruta’s comments came amid a recent resurgence of attacks from the M23 rebel group that has strained relations between the neighbours.
Biruta also criticised the measures taken by the DRC government which have included the suspension of flights by Rwanda’s flag carrier RwandAir and the summon of Kigali’s ambassador.
“The measures that are taken by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we can’t do anything about it. They are the ones who take these measures. We think that these are measures are unfortunate. We should all be part of the framework of the Nairobi dialogue to seek a solution to the security problem and find a definitive solution, not only the recent question of the M23, but also all the questions of the armed groups operating in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, Biruta said.
Congo accuses Kigali of supporting the rebel group that has carried out a military offensive in its eastern borderlands.
Rwanda, however, had denied the claims and has in turn accused Congo’s army of fighting alongside the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group founded by ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide.