The Rwanda Defense Force allegations of involvement in M23 attack in DR Congo

The Rwanda Defense Force is neither involved in nor supports any activities of the ex-M23 armed group, it announced on Tuesday, November 9.

The Rwanda Defense Force is neither involved in nor supports any activities of the ex-M23 armed group, it announced on Tuesday, November 9.

Gunmen seized at least two villages overnight in the eastern DR Congo near the border with Uganda and Rwanda, a local official and an activist group said on Monday.

It was reported that an armed group believed to be ex-M23 rebels, on Sunday evening November 7, crossed into DR Congo  “from Ugandan territory where it is based, and attacked and occupied the villages of Tshanzu and Runyoni.”

“The ex-M23 group in question did not seek refuge in Rwanda during their retreat from DRC in 2013, but has been based in Uganda, from where this attack originated, and to where the armed group retreated,” the RDF statement reads.

Any reports, in the media or by officials in the region, that the ex-M23 armed group originated from or retreated to Rwanda, is propaganda aimed at undermining the good relations between Rwanda and DRC.”

Earlier, Lt Col Muhindo Luanzo, assistant to the administrator of Rutshuru territory, blamed fighters from the M23 which seized large swathes of territory in 2012 and 2013.

The two villages, Tshanzu and Runyoni, were the last redoubts of the M23 before they were chased by Congolese and United Nations forces into Uganda and Rwanda in 2013.

Since then, there have been regional efforts to demobilise the fighters, but the group has complained about the slow pace at which a peace accord has been implemented, and some have returned to DR Congo.

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