Brussels rejecting envoy threatens relations – Rwanda

Rwanda considers Belgium’s rejection of its ambassador’s appointment as “unfortunate,” according to a government spokesman’s statement on Wednesday, adding that this decision does not bode well for the future of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Vincent Karega, Rwanda’s former ambassador to South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was selected by the authorities in Kigali to serve as ambassador to Belgium.

Karega was expelled from the DRC last October during a period of heightened tensions between the two countries.

“It is unfortunate that the Belgian government seems to have capitulated to pressure from the DRC government and propaganda from negationist organisations and activists,” said Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makolo.

“This does not bode well for our bilateral relations,” she added.

DR Congo expelled Karega, accusing Kigali of supporting the M23 rebel group, which resumed armed activities at the end of 2021.

The resurgence of the M23 rebel group has sparked renewed tension between the DRC and Rwanda. Kinshasa has accused Rwanda of arming and actively supporting the rebellion, a charge that has been supported by UN experts.

Kigali denies the accusation.

Belgium was the former colonial power in both African countries, which achieved independence in the early 1960s.

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