The world has taken Rwanda’s restraint in the face of unhinged provocations by DRC for granted. At the beginning of the M23 resurgence, Rwandan territory was shelled three times, but Rwanda didn’t retaliate. Rwandan soldiers were kidnapped while patrolling on the border with DR Congo, and were humiliated, tortured and paraded as ‘evidence’ that Rwanda was backing M23 Congolese rebels. Rwanda reacted with diplomacy, demanding Congo unconditionally release her soldiers.
A series of very provocative anti-Rwanda riots at border points by Congolese, mobilized by the civilian, military, and police leaders, erupted. Rowdy, loud Congolese were hurling stones at the Rwandan security personnel guarding the border posts. The International Community is yet to come out o denounce DRC’s uncouth behavior of international laws violations.
The riots ended without any incident from the Rwandan side. The culmination was when a drug-crazed Congolese soldier leaped from nowhere, and attacked Rwandan police officers and civilians, shooting and injuring many, before a Rwandan Police officer on duty shot and killed the thug in self defense. Still the DRC authorities are yet to explain the reason of their rampant provocative acts.
Still, Rwanda did the responsible thing to report the incident to the mandated organ-EJVM, which came and conducted investigations. It was clear the Zairois thug was at fault. Still, Rwanda allowed Congolese security officials to come and collect the body, decently put in an ambulance.
Rwanda has had to stay restrained amid a barrage of provocations from Congo and verbal attacks and false accusations by Congolese authorities. Has anyone imagined what would be the situation if Rwanda decided to pay back every provocation punch-for-punch? What if Rwandan authorities also decided to incite Rwandans to attack thousands of Congolese who call Kigali and other Rwandan cities home? Fortunately, this would never happen in Rwanda.
Sadly, the international community only takes Rwanda’s diplomatic way of handling issues, for granted and restrain from acting which risks escalating the conflict. If Rwanda acted, there would be endless, unfounded accusations against Rwanda, from the likes of HRW and other groups, that “Rwanda is attacking DRC,” and similar. Yet none is doing anything to stop the pogroms and unfolding genocide of Congo’s Tutsi populations organized by the government of President Felix Tshisekedi.
While some are engaged in their usual anti-Rwanda smears, blaming Rwanda for Congo’s myriad of internal failures and problems, they are giving Tshisekedi and his regime free pass to commit genocide against Tutsi. It’s one of the modern day travesties!
Never Again once again is proving to be an empty slogan