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US Condemns Hate Speech Against Rwandophones in DR Congo

On her visit to DR Congo earlier in August, the United States under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland condemned hate speech targeted at Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese communities, the US embassy in the country said on Friday.

In a statement, the US embassy in Kinshasa said Nuland met with senior government leaders and “unconditionally condemned hate speech against minority populations including Rwandophones.”

The United Nations office for the prevention of genocide has since November 2022 documented the dissemination of hate speech, polarisation of identity and systematic attacks, including sexual violence against certain communities in eastern DR Congo, such as that of Banyalenge in South Kivu province.

The UN also warned the violence in eastern DR Congo could spiral into a genocide.

Eastern DR Congo has been volatile for nearly three decades and remains home to 130 local and foreign-armed groups.

The Congolese armed forces have been fighting against the M23 rebel group in North Kivu.

While the rebels have demanded for direct peace with Kinshasa, the latter has dismissed the M23, calling it a terrorist movement.

While in Kinshasa, Nuland “affirmed that the best solution to the crisis in Eastern DRC is diplomatic and expressed appreciation for the engagement of regional leaders through their mediation in the Luanda and Nairobi processes. These efforts have generated a road map for rapid progress towards a diplomatic, lasting solution,” the US embassy said.

The M23 insurgency also affected DR Congo’s relations with Rwanda, after Kinshasa accused Kigali of supporting the rebels. Rwanda has dismissed the accusations.

On the other hand, Rwanda accused DR Congo of cooperating with the FDLR militia, a blacklisted terrorist group created and controlled by elements linked to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which claimed the lives of more than a million people.

The current violence eastern DR Congo mainly stems from armed groups such as the FDLR, which is still active in the country and spreads anti-Tutsi ideology.

Rwanda has for years called on the Congolese leadership to solve the FDLR question, which not only threatens Rwanda’s security but also DR Congo internal security, especially the Tutsi communities.

Source : New Times