Is it Tshisekedi’s intention to use SADC to effect “regime change” in Rwanda?

During an interaction with Congolese youth at a political campaign event in Kinshasa in December last year, Congolese ruler Félix Tshisekedi made highly reckless remarks where he blatantly hinted on his desire to see regime change in Rwanda.

Tshisekedi overlooked the presence of over 266 armed groups in his country and weak army that failed to annihilate them but started blaming Rwanda. Forgetting that he already had failed to change the security situation in eastern DRC which has instead escalated from more than 130 terrorist armed groups to more than 266, Tshisekedi carelessly said: “Rwandans are our brothers and sisters. They are brothers and need our support to liberate them against leaders holding them back”!

During one of his recent city-hopping, resource wasting expeditions, Tshisekedi, who called the East African Community Regional Forces (EACRF) a failure, said he and his government banked on the support of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to “put an end to Rwanda aggression”. Keen observers linked Tshisekedi’s two statements to draw the very worrying conclusion that Tshisekedi might be harbouring dangerous ambitions of attacking Rwanda.

This has left the International Community and regional stakeholders who are working day and night trying to find new ways of ensuring lasting peace in eastern DRC scratching their heads. People are asking whether SADC is in on this plan, or whether these are one of those day dreams by Tshisekedi.

It is now up to the SADC nations to think critically about their proposed intervention in eastern DRC by keenly and consciously questioning Tshisekedi’s end goal, basing on his statements. Is it in SADC’s interest to see the region go up in flames as a result of their presence in eastern DRC, where they could potentially have to face off with the EACRF as a result of miscommunication of command and the obvious incitement by the Kinshasa regime? Does SADC really believe they have a formula that the EACRF doesn’t have that could suddenly bring the conflict in DRC to a halt?

SADC must desist from committing the mistakes of 2013 which left their credibility and integrity badly stained.

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