DRC and Rwanda Presidents Agree to Talks Amid M23 Rebel Group Conflict and Rising Regional Tensions



Leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda are prepared to meet to discuss the ongoing conflict and measures against the M23 rebel group amid rising tensions in Eastern DRC. This development comes as the region faces increased displacement due to heavy fighting between the Congolese Army and M23 Rebels. The situation is further exacerbated by the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers, raising concerns about the protection of civilians and the escalating humanitarian crisis.

  • The DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi, has agreed to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, facilitated by Angola, to seek peace in Eastern DRC amidst heavy fighting.
  • Rwanda has been accused of supporting the M23 rebels, an allegation Rwanda denies.
  • The conflict is driving mass displacement, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge, food, water, and shelter in Goma and surrounding areas.
  • The United Nations estimates 800,000 people have sought refuge in Goma alone due to the fighting.
  • The UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, is withdrawing from the country, leaving concerns about the protection of civilians and access for humanitarian operations.
  • M23’s resurgence has led to increased violence and a humanitarian crisis, with fears the conflict will worsen.
  • Civil Society groups are skeptical that diplomacy alone can change the situation on the ground.
  • The conflict in Eastern DRC is partly driven by the government’s lack of commitment to address the needs of its people and fulfill agreements with groups like M23.
  • M23, named after a failed peace agreement in 2009, claims to fight for the rights of Congolese Tutsis and accuses the government of not integrating its fighters into the national army or fulfilling political agreements.
  • The ongoing conflict has significantly impacted the stability of the DRC and the region, leading to increased refugee flows and rising commodity prices.

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