The 18th Francophonie summit marked by strong tensions between Rwanda and the DRC

Published on :

The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) is about to conclude in Djerba, Tunisia. Heads of state and government discussed the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A resolution needs to be adopted on the matter, but behind the scenes, the Francophonie is once again threatened with cacophony.

With our special envoy in Djerba, Clementine Pawlotsky

From the beginning of this peak, the tension is palpable. On the part of the Congolese delegation, it is estimated that there is, in this dossier, a partiality of the general secretary of the OIF, the Rwandan Louise Mushikiwabo.

It’s a bit out of its neutrality a member of the Congolese delegation told RFI. He accuses Louise Mushikiwabo of taking fact and cause for Rwanda “, which, according to him, ” it gives an indication that the organization he leads cannot really play a role in resolving the crisis “.

These remarks refer to an interview that the Secretary General gave to our TV5 colleagues on the first day of the summit. Louise Mushikiwabo said in this interview that there is ” elements in the DRC, right on the border with Rwanda, who pose a threat to Rwandan security. Can we go back to agreements that have been around for more than 10 years and apply them? It is a question of political will. It’s that simple “.

Words that do not pass by the Congolese side at all. “ We simply expressed that as Secretary General, Louise Mushikiwabo has a role of neutrality and that on issues affecting Rwanda, even though she is a citizen, she should stand her ground and be at the center without taking sides. “, Congolese Prime Minister Sama Lukonde told RFI.

Congolese Prime Minister Sama Lukondé reacts to Louise Mushikiwabo’s remarks

Thus, faced with suspicions of factionalism, the secretary general’s spokeswoman, Oria Vande Weghe, said: “ Yes, Louise Mushikiwabo was her country’s foreign minister, but she is no longer. She represents 88 states and governments. He is certainly delicate to manage, but it is the reality of multilateralism “, she believes.

The DRC boycotts the official photo

This tension has been felt since the opening of the summit since Sama Lukonde boycotted the official photo of the heads of state and government. The Congolese delegation explains that ” it is a deliberate sign of disapproval “. ” We cannot be shown in a photo with President Paul Kagame that was present to him, according to one source.

The goal was also to draw attention to this security crisis. ” For all these people, this humanitarian drama we are experiencing due to insecurity, we needed this attention, this solidarity, at the Francophonie level », estimates the Congolese prime minister.

We also recall that the Congolese president, Félix Tshisekedi, did not even make the trip, while the DRC is still the largest country in the Francophonie. Even there, continues the member of the Congolese delegation with whom we were able to talk, ” it is a message we wanted to convey and we will continue to convey messages of this kind “.

Therefore, this summit has not really helped to ease tensions between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC must also host, in 2023, the next Francophonie Games. But on this point the Congolese delegation wanted to be rather reassuring. ” We have to be able to separate things. LI am The games of the Francophonie are (above all) the youth and the celebration of sport “says a Congolese source. ” We hope that the ongoing diplomatic efforts will resolve the issues and that this will not affect the upcoming Games. “, continues this source.

►Read also: DRC: 10 years later, the return of the M23 at the gates of Goma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *