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Rwanda regrets DR Congo’s decision to expel its envoy

Area marked in red in North Kivu

Kigali, Rwanda | XINHUA |  The Rwandan government said Sunday that it regretted the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) decision to expel its envoy.

The DRC’s government on Saturday ordered Rwandan Ambassador Vincent Karega to leave the country within 48 hours over Rwanda’s alleged support of rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).

Rwanda notes with regret the decision by the government of the DRC to expel Rwandan ambassador Vincent Karega, said a statement by the office of the government spokesperson of Rwanda.

“It is regrettable the government of the DRC continues to scapegoat Rwanda to cover up and distract from their own governance and security failures,” said the statement.

Rwandan security forces at the border with the DRC remain on alert as the country continues to monitor the Congolese escalation, it said.

Rwanda remains committed to contributing to a sustainable peaceful regional security solution within the agreed regional frameworks, including the Luanda Roadmap and the Nairobi Process, said the statement.

The expulsion of the Rwandan ambassador to DRC was announced by the DRC government spokesman Patrick Muyaya after a meeting of the defense council, presided over by the DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, in the wake of M23 rebels seizing control of Kiwanja and Rutshuru in the Congolese province of North Kivu.

From trading verbal blows to shutting down flights, the relations between Rwanda and DRC are now undergoing a diplomatic battle fueled by the M23 rebel group that is currently advancing towards capturing major towns in the DRC’s North Kivu province.

DR Congo has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels, an allegation Rwanda has repeatedly denied.

Tensions between the two neighboring countries intensified in May after DRC accused Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels in DRC’s northeastern North Kivu province, bordering Rwanda, in renewed fighting that has displaced thousands of people in DRC’s Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories inside the province. ■

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