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Belgian Envoy Suggests DR Congo File ICJ Complaint Against Rwanda

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Griffith Sarah

Apr 21, 2024

Belgium’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Roxane de Bilderling, has urged the Congolese government to take legal action against Rwanda

Belgium’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Roxane de Bilderling on the right

In light of the escalating crisis in eastern Congo, Belgium’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Roxane de Bilderling, has urged the Congolese government to take legal action against Rwanda by filing a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The ambassador made this recommendation during a meeting with foreign envoys in Goma, addressing Rwanda's alleged failure to respect international borders.


The conflict in eastern Congo has intensified due to the resurgence of the M23 rebel group, leading to significant displacement. The United Nations' aid agency, OCHA, reports that the fighting has displaced over 738,000 people in the first quarter of this year alone.

M23, known for its ethnic Tutsi leadership, has been a central figure in the ongoing strife which is a direct continuation of the tensions following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


The Congolese government, supported by statements from U.N. officials and Western nations including the United States and Belgium, accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels.


Allegations include the provision of weapons and soldiers to the rebels, charges that the Rwandan government vehemently denies. In a counterclaim, Rwanda’s army has accused Congo of supporting the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group comprised mainly of ethnic Hutus.


In response to Ambassador de Bilderling's comments, Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo controversially suggested that the DRC should consider taking Belgium to the ICJ instead.


This ongoing dispute highlights the deep-rooted and complex nature of the conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa, underscoring the challenges in achieving lasting peace and stability.

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