Tshisekedi open to meeting Kagame over eastern DRC crisis-Xinhua

Tshisekedi open to meeting Kagame over eastern DRC crisis

Source: Xinhua| 2024-02-28 02:56:45|Editor: huaxia

LUANDA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi has expressed his willingness to meet with his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, to address the ongoing instability in the eastern DRC.

This statement came during Tshisekedi's visit to Luanda, Angola's capital, where he met with Angolan President Joao Lourenco. Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs Tete Antonio revealed this development following a meeting between Lourenco and Tshisekedi.

Antonio said that Lourenco, acting as the mediator appointed by the African Union, had engaged in discussions with both Tshisekedi and Kagame during the 37th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Angola has been tasked with facilitating the meeting between the two leaders, although specific dates have not yet been mentioned. The mediation efforts stem from the need to address the recent escalation of conflicts in the eastern DRC, particularly involving the March 23 Movement (M23), and to restore relations between the DRC and Rwanda.

The DRC has accused Rwanda of backing M23 rebels, an accusation rejected by both Kigali and the M23 rebel group. The rebel group, which resurfaced in late 2021, has triggered conflicts and humanitarian crises and seized major strongholds on Congolese soil.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement issued earlier this month that it was deeply concerned by the dire consequences for civilians, including an estimated 135,000 internally displaced people fleeing the town of Sake toward the nearby city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province in the DRC, where tensions have been on the rise with intensive fighting between the Armed Forces of the DRC and M23 rebels.

The mediation process, led by Lourenco, has already yielded the adoption of a roadmap on the pacification of the eastern region of the DRC, also known as the Luanda Roadmap, which aims to peacefully resolve the conflicts in the region and foster cooperation between the DRC and Rwanda.