Rwanda criticizes expulsion of its ambassador from Congo
By Associated Press Special Correspondent
Posted: 11/17/2012 08:15:19 AM MST
Updated: 11/18/2012 04:53:24 PM MST
MONACO, Morocco — Rwanda issued a statement Wednesday condemning the decision by the Democratic Republic of Congo to expel its ambassador to the country.
The Congo’s decision was a blow to diplomatic ties and sent shock waves through the international community as the government of President Joseph Kabila has been plagued by instability since Kabila was sworn in in 2001.
Rwanda has been Rwanda’s chief diplomatic partner in Africa and has repeatedly called for the DRC’s government to respect its security and diplomatic corps.
In a statement late Wednesday, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Rwanda “condemns” the decision by the DRC’s government to expel its ambassador to the country.
“We are, therefore, shocked by the government of the DRC decision against our ambassador,” it said, adding that Rwanda “is considering all available means to have our ambassador reinstated.”
Kabila has been in power since his military takeover in 2001, and his government has been plagued by violence.
The country’s president is wanted by the International Criminal Court, and some rights groups say that he has been responsible for extrajudicial killings of political opponents and members of other groups.
Congo became Rwanda’s top African partner after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when a Rwandan delegation visited the country to seek the Rwandans’ help in bringing peace to Rwanda after killing over 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Kabila’s government has not made any public comments on the allegations in the ICC report issued on Monday by former Congolese prosecutor Francois Mugisha, who said that Kabila bore “personal responsibility for crimes committed by his security forces.”
Rwanda previously expressed concerns about Kabila’s government. In 2009 a commission led by former African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that the government had failed to take steps to curb mass killings in the country.