Kinshasa, 6 March 2023 (TDI): President of France, Emmanuel Macron has pledged humanitarian aid and committed to supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) against the M23 rebel group during his visit to Central African Nations.

President Macron started his tour of four Central African Nations last week where he underscored French relationship with African nations and also co-hosted the One Forest Summit in Gabon.

During the visit to DR Congo, he was asked by Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to pursue international sanctions against Rwanda for its alleged military support to M23 rebels.

President Macron responded that he was waiting for the end of several ongoing peace negotiation efforts before considering such a step.

But he promised that France would be “faithful to its role as an unwavering ally of (DRC) to defend its integrity and sovereignty.”

The DR Congo eastern region has been mired in conflict for decades, with armed groups vying for control of the region’s vast mineral resources.

Most recently, the DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels. However, Rwanda has denied the allegation of supporting the rebel group.

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Peace talks have also taken place in Angola in late 2022 by regional powers, where the regional leaders called for a ceasefire in eastern regions of DRC, and also urged the M23 rebels to withdraw from the territory they are holding.

President of France added that all sides have “given clear support” to a ceasefire and DRC must not be spoiled of war.

Furthermore, he also pledged 34 million euros to a new EU humanitarian aid initiative for the central African nation, particularly for DR Congo.

EU Air Bridge to Congo

The European Union (EU) on Saturday announced, “it was setting up a humanitarian air bridge to deliver aid to the conflict-hit eastern regions.”

The Air Bridge will link Goma the capital city of the eastern province of DR Congo where the fighting with M23 has displaced more than 500000 people.

Under the Air Bridge operation, the EU will deliver humanitarian support in the form of medical, nutrition supplies, and emergency items to the conflicted region.