Rwanda urges DR Congo to immediately release its nationals

Rwanda on Friday once again urged the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to "immediately and unconditionally" release Rwanda nationals illegally…

Rwanda on Friday once again urged the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to “immediately and unconditionally” release Rwanda nationals illegally detained by the latter over alleged spies.Two Rwandan nationals, Juvenal Nshimiyimana and Moses Mushabe, who work for a Geneva-based non-profit organisation, were arrested in August this year by the Congolese National Intelligence Agency (ANR).

In a statement, Yolande Makolo, the Rwandan government spokesperson, said Nshimiyimana and Mushabe’s detention by Congolese officials was an example of how “leaders unable to account for their own failures…point fingers at outside ‘sinister forces’.”

“Rwanda is deeply concerned about the fate of two Rwandan citizens, Dr Juvenal Nshimiyimana and Moses Mushabe, both staff of African Health Development Organisation, detained in Kinshasa since August 30, 2022,” Makolo said.

Nshimiyimana is the country director of AHDO in DR Congo. He previously served as the acting country director of UNAIDS. Mushabe is the provincial head of AHDO in Tshikapa, the capital of Kasai Province, in the central southern part of the vast country.

“This paradigm of alleged spies is straight from a playbook that we recognise all too well,” Makolo said.

“Leaders [from DR Congo] unable to account for their own failures will seek to fuel ethnic divisions and point the finger at sinister outside forces.”

According to the Rwandan Government spokesperson, nobody in the Great Lakes Region is under any illusion as to where this leads or how great the toll is.

“The international community should take note and hold the DRC officials accountable for this escalation,” she said.

The DRC has accused its smaller neighbour Rwanda of backing the militia, something officials in Kigali deny.

Earlier last week, the M23 rebel group declared their withdrawal from Kibumba village in North Kivu province and handed over control of the territory to the East African Community (EAC) force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is led by Kenyan Major General Jeff Nyagah.