Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday his country had no problem being excluded from a regional military force to be deployed to end decades of bloodshed by militants in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In April, the seven countries of the East African Community (EAC), which Congo joined this year, agreed to create a joint force, but the Congolese president opposed the involvement of the Rwandan army.
“I have no problem with that,” he told the country’s state television. “We’re not begging anyone to join forces.”
Despite billions of dollars spent on one of the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping forces, more than 120 rebel groups continue to operate in large parts of eastern Congo nearly two decades after the official end of civil wars in the central African country.
The EAC called on local armed groups to join a political process to resolve their grievances or “be dealt with by military means,” the Kenyan president’s office said in April.
Recent attempts to stop the violence militarily have failed, and in some cases backfired, security analysts and rights groups say.