Tshisekedi differs with Kagame on DR Congo atrocities

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi has differed with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame over a report that accused Rwandan forces of committing mass atrocities in DR Congo.

Tshisekedi said on Wednesday that there should be justice for the victims of atrocities cited by the 2010 UN Mapping Report.

According to the report, which Tshisekedi challenges, the most serious violations against international humanitarian law were between 1993 and 2003. The report prompted denials from Rwanda and other countries that were named.

In an interview on Wednesday, Tshisekedi said justice must be given to all the victims who lost their lives in DR Congo and in the region.

“So for me, it would be a positive attitude for President Kagame to co-operate on that, because at this stage there’s no condemnation yet…and if those he defends are innocent, justice will clear them,” said Tshisekedi.

He said he was not responding to Kagame, who had earlier said the report was “highly politicised”.

On Monday, Kagame said: “there were no crimes [in eastern DR Congo] – not by the individuals talked about or by the countries talked about”.

The two presidents have also differed on Denis Mukwege, the DR Congo Nobel Peace prize laureate who has advocated for justice for the victims cited in the report.

Tshisekedi describes Mukwege as “a national pride”… for the work he has done for the victims, while the Rwanda President said he was “a tool of these forces you don’t get to see… he’s told what to say that will influence people’s opinion”.

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