AU ‘extremely concerned’ over security situation in DRC as Rwandan ambassador expelled
The African Union (AU) has said it was worried about the deteriorating security situation in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rebels have made fresh gains and the country’s authorities responded by expelling the Rwandan Ambassador in Kinshasa, accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels.
In a joint statement, AU Chairman Macky Sall and AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Sunday (30 October) expressed “extreme concern” at the failing security and appealed for calm and dialogue. They call “on all the parties to establish an immediate cease-fire, respect international law, the safety and security of civilians,” the statement said.
This comes as the M23 rebels seized more territory in the vast, mineral-rich DRC a day earlier, prompting the UN peacekeeping mission to increase its “troop alert level” and boost support for the army. In response, the authorities in the DR of Congo announced the expulsion of the Rwandan Ambassador, Mr Vincent Karega, in Kinshasa. The expulsion follows months of tensions with neighboring Rwanda that Kinshasa blames for supporting the M23 rebels in the east of the country.
Dozens of demonstrators went around churches to call for a big demonstration on Sunday against the Rwandan invasion, expressing their positive feelings regarding the expulsion of Rwanda’s ambassador to the DR of Congo. Some demonstrators went as far as affirming their support for the Congolese army in the face of the rebellion by asking that they be given “weapons so that they can fight against Rwanda”.
The UN’s mission in the country, MONUSCO, condemned what it described as “the hostile acts of M23” and called for an immediate halt to the fighting. The rebel group, a mostly Congolese Tutsi group, resumed fighting in late 2021 after lying dormant for years, accusing the government of having failed to honor an agreement over the demobilization of its fighters.