DRC-Rwanda crisis: Anthony Blinken pleads for peace

DRC-Rwanda crisis: Anthony Blinken pleads for peace

The head of American diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, spoke with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, about the unstable situation in the eastern part of the DRC.

Through separate phone calls, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with the Rwandan and Congolese heads of state. During the exchanges, Anthony Blinken “advocated for a diplomatic solution to tensions between the two countries and urged each side to take steps to de-escalate the situation, including the withdrawal of troops from the border,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

From Kigali, President Kagame reiterated Rwanda’s strong support for regional processes aimed at establishing peace and stability in the DRC and the region. For his part, Félix Tshisekedi showed himself open to dialogue and to a serious process for the restoration of stability in the east of his country.

The DRC accuses, Rwanda rejects

The DRC government has regularly accused Rwanda of fueling the security crisis by encouraging M23 rebels in the east of the country. This allegation is categorically rejected by Kigali. The M23, led by Tutsis, is at the heart of these accusations. However, President Kagame has called for action to counter the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu armed group with links to the perpetrators of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Fighting between the M23 and the DRC armed forces has worsened the humanitarian situation in the region, leading to the displacement of thousands of people towards North Kivu province, near the Rwandan border. The clashes were concentrated around several villages, including Kibumba, Bwiza, Kitshanga and Kwitabi, according to M23 spokesperson Major Willy Ngoma.