Tshisekedi willing to meet Kagame over eastern DRC violence

Wednesday February 28 2024

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi. PHOTO | REUTERS


Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President 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 Angola, where he met with Angolan President Joao Lourenco in the capital Luanda. Angola's 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 (AU), had engaged in discussions with both Tshisekedi and Kagame during the 37th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Read: EAC leadership to blame for rising conflicts

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 M23 rebels, and to restore relations between the DRC and Rwanda.

The DRC has accused Rwanda of backing M23 rebels, an accusation Kigali denies. 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  (FARDC) and M23 rebels.

Read: Rwanda says east DRC war 'serious' national threat

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 Process, which aims to peacefully resolve the conflicts in the region and foster cooperation between the DRC and Rwanda.