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THREATS & DIPLOMATIC BLUNDERS: Why DR Congo’s Tshisekedi Could Plunge Region into War

Tshisekedi's DR Congo Relations with Rwanda, Kenya Threaten Regional Peace

Tshisekedi and Kagame. Photo/Flickr
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DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has made at least two statements and taken one action that threaten diplomatic relations among member states of the East African Community (EAC) and could plunge the region into war.

First, Tshisekedi compared Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame to Adolf Hitler, a Nazi Germany dictator who killed millions of people, the most publicized killings being of over six million Jewish people in the Holocaust.

Campaigning for his reelection in Bukavu near DR Congo’s border with Rwanda in early December, Tshisekedi said: “Since [Kagame] wanted to behave like Adolf Hitler by having expansionist aims, I promise he will end up like Adolf Hitler. However, he met his match, someone who is determined to stop him and protect his country.”

Tshisekedi, his Congolese government and most in the opposition accuse Kagame and Rwanda of backing M23 rebels terrorizing the eastern part of the large, mineral rich but impoverished African country.

In response to Tshisekedi’s comparison of Kagame to Hitler, Yolande Makolo, the spokesperson of Rwanda’s government spokesperson, said the Congolese president’s utterances were a “loud and clear threat by the DRC President.”

TSHISEKEDI THREATENS WAR AGAINST RWANDA

In a speech delivered during a campaign rally in the capital Kinshasa in the final lap ahead of December 20 elections, Tshisekedi threatened to go to war with Rwanda if the country continues with its alleged aggression.

“I have had enough of invasions and M23 rebels backed by Kigali. If you reelect me, and if Rwanda persists in its aggression, I will request Parliament and Congress to authorize a declaration of war,” said Tshisekedi.

“We will march on Kigaali. Tell Kagame, those days of playing games with Congolese leaders are over. I will not tolerate his provocations.”

Tshisekedi’s supporters chanted “Kagame aende,” meaning ‘let Kagame get out’ as the president threatened war.

DR CONGO & KENYA

It’s not only Rwanda that is having issues with DR Congo. Just last week, Kinshasa summoned Kenya’s envoy after an exile opposition politician launched an anti-Tshisekedi political-military coalition on Kenyan soil. (See Details Here).

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