The President of the March 23 Movement (M23), Bertrand Bisimwa, has refuted persistent accusations by the Democratic Republic of Congo that the rebel movement is supported by Rwanda and Uganda. Bisimwa argued that if these allegations were true, M23 would have captured the DRC capital, Kinshasa, within two months.
DRC has repeatedly accused Rwanda and Uganda of backing the M23 rebels, a claim that both countries and the rebels vehemently deny. During his presidential campaign in Kinshasa, the incumbent president, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo disclosed that he decided to sever ties with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Tshisekedi stated that he took this step after realizing that Kagame had exploited his trust and good intentions to destabilize the North Kivu region. Tshisekedi emphasized that their paths have diverged permanently, and any future meeting would occur before God, the ultimate judge, who would discern between good and bad.
“I made the decision to end my collaboration with the Rwandan President because I realized that he had abused my trust by using my good intentions to destabilize the North Kivu region. Our paths are separated forever. Our eventual meeting will be before God who created us. He will judge us and know who was the good and the bad,” says Tshisekedi.
However, Bisimwa dismissed these accusations, asserting that the reasons prompting M23’s fight were independent and not connected to Rwanda and Uganda. He questioned why Tshisekedi did not disclose to the public why the government failed to implement a peace deal made with M23 years ago. Bisimwa argued that if Uganda and Rwanda were indeed backing M23 with their strong armies, Tshisekedi’s government would have collapsed within two months.