Having militarily provoked Rwanda on several occasions, the Congolese regime is getting desperate, as the recent blatant aggressive action of flying their military plane into Rwanda shows. The Sukhoi-25 fighter plane did not just make a ‘mistake’ by overflying Rwanda’s airspace. A mistake cannot be an incursion several kilometers into Rwanda and even dare a touchdown at the Gisenyi Airport. But trust the Congolese to expose themselves, as they rushed to social media after that purported ‘mistake” to celebrate the incident as a “heroic military act by their hired foreign pilots.”
Well, for argument’s sake, we accept that this was a mistake (which it was not), what would this portend about their planned operations? If the hired foreign Congolese air force pilots cannot differentiate Congolese territory from that of their neighbors, how safe is the Rwandan population, especially those living at the border with DRC?
This further exposes the fact that Tshisekedi is not interested in regional peace. He wants to cling to power at any cost. He may think the only option he has right now is to ignite a regional conflict, so that next year’s elections can be ruled out. Tshisekedi thinks the involvement of Rwanda in the conflict would serve his objectives. He seeks to provoke Rwanda into an angry reaction. Having tried several times by putting artillery rockets in FDLR’s hands to use as they please by firing into Rwanda, he has now taken his provocation a notch higher.
These are the actions of a desperate man.
While Rwanda has maintained her restraint in the face of these provocations, let the world not take that restraint for granted. Rwanda has red lines that cannot be crossed.
The international community is yet to make a strong condemnation of the DRC’s reckless actions. Neither has anyone called out the Tshisekedi regime for supporting the FDLR and other dangerous armed groups. Nobody has made any strong proclamation on the persecution of the Kinyarwanda-speaking Tutsi Congolese, many of whom have been living as refugees for decades.
The international community’s attitude of treating Congo like a toddler whose mistakes and recklessness should be condemned as one of the things perpetuating this conflict. Tshisekedi thinks he has impunity to launch any provocations he wants.
That has to end.