Presidents Félix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame and Emmanuel Macron agreed, Wednesday, September 21 during a meeting in New York, “to act in concert” to fight against violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), announced the Elysée.
During an interview on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Congolese, Rwandan and French leaders “expressed their concern at the resurgence of violence in eastern DRC and their resolution to provide a regional and coordinated response to the threat posed by the terrorist group ADF [Forces démocratiques alliées] In the region “said the French presidency in a press release.
On Tuesday evening, Mr. Tshisekedi had accused neighboring Rwanda of” assault “ military “direct” and D’“occupation” in the east of his country, also via Kigali’s presumed support for the armed rebellion of the March 23 Movement (M23).
The two African leaders, invited by Mr. Macron to lunch, “Agreed to act together to obtain the application of the provisions of the Luanda process as soon as possible, the withdrawal of the M23 and the cantonment of its combatants outside the Bunagana area, with the support of the United Nations and their partners of the East African Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region »according to the Elysee.
“Solutions can be found”
MM. Tshisekedi, Kagame and Macron also want “sustainably intensify their cooperation to fight against impunity and put an end to the action of armed groups in the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)”said the same source.
Eastern DRC is home to many armed groups that have been sowing death for almost thirty years. One of the most active is the M23, a former Tutsi-dominated rebellion defeated in 2013, which took up arms again at the end of 2021, accusing Kinshasa of not having respected agreements on the demobilization and reintegration of its fighters.
According to a report by experts commissioned by the United Nations, consulted in August by AFP, the Rwandan army has “launched military interventions against Congolese armed groups and positions of the Congolese armed forces” from November 2021. Kigali has for years denied supporting the M23 and has rejected these “invalid allegations”.
Before having lunch with MM. Macron and Tshisekedi, Mr. Kagame had simply recognized at the podium of the UN General Assembly “the urgent need to find and address the root causes of instability in eastern DRC”. But “blaming others does not solve problems” added the Rwandan leader: “These challenges are not insurmountable and solutions can be found. This will ultimately be much less costly in terms of both money and lives. »
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