Washington DC, 25 May 2023 (TDI): Secretary of United States (US), Antony J. Blinken recently held a phone conversation with President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), addressing the dire humanitarian situation and ongoing violence in the eastern region of the country.

The discussion centered around critical issues requiring immediate attention to alleviate the suffering of the Congolese people.

Expressing deep concern for the loss of life, injuries, displacement, and vulnerability resulting from violence, Secretary Blinken underscored the US commitment to addressing these challenges.

The Secretary emphasized the urgent need for Rwanda to end its support for the M23 armed group, stressing the importance of all state actors ceasing collaboration with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other non-state armed groups.

During the call, Secretary Blinken and President Tshisekedi discussed the imperative of M23’s withdrawal and disarmament in accordance with the commitments outlined in the Luanda Communique.

They further emphasized the significance of all parties implementing their obligations under the Luanda Communique and recommitting to the Luanda and Nairobi Processes. By adhering to these processes, the international community can work towards a sustainable and peaceful resolution in the eastern DRC.

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In the same vein, Secretary Blinken also reiterated his concern regarding hate speech and divisive rhetoric, emphasizing the importance of promoting unity and understanding among all communities. He reaffirmed the right of the Congolese people to engage in peaceful protests, enabling them to voice their concerns and aspirations freely.

Additionally, Secretary Blinken highlighted the unwavering commitment of the US to supporting free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Recognizing the significance of democratic processes in ensuring stability and progress, the Secretary emphasized the US readiness to provide assistance and support throughout the electoral process.

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In a nutshell, the US remains deeply committed to working closely with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the international community to address the ongoing challenges in the eastern region, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and foster sustainable peace and development for the Congolese people.