By Moses Gisa
The Rwandan envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ambassador Vincent Karega has refuted recent allegations pinning the Rwandan government on the 1998 massacres in Kasika in the South Kivu region, as unfounded and politically motivated.
Speaking to renowned African News Magazine, Jeune Afrique on August 28, 2020, Karega discussed a range of issues between the two countries. He dismissed the accusations as propaganda orchestrated and amplified by the group of individuals and organizations that have never wished to see Rwanda and DRC living in peace and harmony.
“I didn’t deny the fact that there were killings in this country, I responded to a tweet that blamed Rwanda for killing 1100 people and torching 6 villages. During that period the DRC army-FARDC and countries like Burundi, Angola, Uganda, and rebel groups such as Mai Mai were present and operating in that region, why would these people single out Rwanda? Why blame Rwanda? Is it related to these groups’ renowned track record of hating Rwanda? Of course, I could not sit back and relax without refuting such baseless allegations against a country I represent,” Ambassador Karega told Jeune Afrique.
The ambassador reiterated that there is a propaganda campaign being sponsored by a group of individuals including failed opposition politicians who, from the onset, have been fighting President Felix Tshisekedi’s foreign policy and his quest to pacify his country and the Great lakes region at large.
“There is overwhelming evidence proving that a group of people and foreign-backed NGOs intend to discourage President Tshisekedi’s commitment to cooperate with foreign state actors both in the region and beyond to strengthen relations and ensure good neighborliness. His decisions have irked his political rivals,” Karega stressed.
About the Mapping report and Mukwege Denis’s alleged death threats, the ambassador said Rwanda has never threatened him, besides Mukwege and Co have failed to substantiate their allegations.
Karega said: “during celebration of Rwanda’s 26th Liberation anniversary, Gen Kabarebe made a call to the Rwandan Youth in the diaspora to return home. He urged them to disregard the lies being peddled by special interest groups and the so-called ‘Mapping Report’ of which Mukwege poses as its spokesperson. He mentioned that people who have interests in holding Rwandan refugees hostage are the ones promoting such reports. I want to remind people that the ‘Mapping Report’ was never adopted by the United Nations on inauthenticity grounds.”
Karega added that the so-called mapping report merely was a preliminary investigative report which was subjected to intense scrutiny by countries implicated in it. They evidently argued their cases which led to its flopping and getting discredited. “It’s inaccuracies and illegalities were exposed,” Karega said.
Speaking about the ongoing online campaigns by agitators calling on the DRC Government to expel him, Karega underscored that he presented his credentials to the Head of State allowing him to represent his country. “If the DRC leadership finds it necessary to expel me and of course basing on sufficient grounds then they will act in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
Asked about his previous meeting with President Tshisekedi, Karega told the Jeune Afrique journalist that the meeting was in line with deepening already existing relations between the two countries.
Previously Rwanda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Karega was, in July 2019, appointed Rwanda’s Ambassador to DR Congo.