Washington DC/Kigali, 6 December 2022 (TDI): Secretary of State of the United States (US) Antony John Blinken discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, on Monday.

Both dignitaries deliberated upon the significance of peace and stability in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Also read: President of Rwanda receives US Congressional delegation

Secretary Blinken voiced his strong support for regional mediation and discussion led by Angola and the East African Community. He also emphasized implementing the commitments made during these discussions.

He also stressed that progress should be made to achieve the aims and goals for achieving peace in Congo. Especially the undertakings made in Luanda Mini-Summit on Peace and Security communiqué should be fulfilled.

“Any outside assistance to non-state armed organizations in the DRC must stop. It includes Rwanda’s support for M23, an organization that has been blacklisted by the US and the UN” the US Secretary of State reiterated.

He also shared deep concern about the impact of the fighting on Congolese civilians who have been killed, injured, and displaced from their homes.

For his part, Paul Kagame assured the US State Secretary that his government is trying hard to implement the commitments made in the Peace and Security communiqué and peace will soon be achieved.

Congo-Rwanda Conflict

The conflict between Congo and Rwanda is going on since 1994. Recently, the tension has escalated due to excessive violence induced due to the resurgent March 23 Movement (M23).

The constant clashes between M23 and the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) have resulted in constant instability.

The clashes in eastern Congo have killed dozens and displaced tens of thousands, worsening the already existing humanitarian crisis in the country.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reproached Rwanda for backing M23, a group that reactivated its fighting in the northwest of Congo and has been terrorizing the population for years.

Also read: UN Secretary Council urges curbing DRC insurgencies

The government of Rwanda, however, denied any connection with the said organization. Similarly, Rwanda reproached Congo for collaborating with another rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The FDLR was created by ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda during the country’s 1994 genocide that killed at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Congo has denied supporting the group.

It is pertinent to note that the US is doing everything it can to support the very important African-led mediation efforts. These efforts can bring peace, security, and stability to the eastern Congo.