France calls on Rwanda to stop supporting M23 rebels in eastern DRC

Tuesday February 20 2024

Activists gesture as they march during a demonstration calling for an end to the fighting between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army and denouncing the international community's silence on the conflicts in Goma, North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo on February 19, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS


France said on Tuesday it was "very concerned" about the situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and called on Rwanda to cease its support for the M23 rebel group which has recently stepped up its offensive.

Rwanda denies backing the M23 rebels, although the US, DR Congo, and a UN group of experts have said that it funds and fights alongside the group.

Read: Why fighting is flaring in eastern DR Congo

"France condemns the continuation of the M23 offensives with the support of Rwanda, and the presence of Rwandan forces on Congolese territory," France said in a government statement, adding to growing international pressure on Rwanda.

"We call on Rwanda to cease all support for the M23 and to withdraw from Congolese territory," it said, reiterating its support for a regional mediation process to put an end to the conflict.