U.S. Condemns Alleged Drone Attack-Related Violence in DR Congo

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U.S. Condemns Drone Attack

The United States has expressed deep concern over the escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has pointed fingers at an armed group allegedly backed by neighboring Rwanda. Recent clashes in the eastern part of the DRC between government forces and the M23 rebel group have resulted in numerous casualties, both among soldiers and civilians. The conflict has triggered a mass exodus of tens of thousands of civilians towards the eastern city of Goma, situated between Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border.

In an official statement, Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, condemned Rwanda’s alleged support for the M23 armed group. Miller called on Rwanda to promptly withdraw all Rwanda Defense Force personnel from the DRC and remove surface-to-air missile systems, which pose a threat to civilians, UN and regional peacekeepers, humanitarian workers, and commercial flights in the eastern DRC.

Moreover, the DRC has accused Rwanda of conducting a drone attack that damaged a civilian aircraft at Goma’s airport. Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kaito emphasized that the drone had violated the territorial integrity of the DRC and originated from Rwandan territory.

International concerns have been raised about Rwanda’s alleged involvement in supporting rebels to gain control over the DRC’s abundant mineral resources. While the DRC, the United Nations, and Western nations accuse Rwanda of backing the rebels, Rwanda vehemently denies these allegations.

In response to the worsening situation, South Africa announced its decision to dispatch 2,900 troops to support the DRC’s forces in countering the armed group. The DRC has long been entangled in conflicts with various rebel factions, particularly in its resource-rich eastern region. The M23, which split from the DRC army in 2012, claims to be fighting for the defense of ethnic Congolese Tutsis who face discrimination in the country. The situation remains tense, with regional and international actors closely monitoring developments and calling for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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