Foreign ministers of DR Congo, Rwanda agree to speed up de-escalation
Only time will tell if any de-escalation is possible as clashes continue to resume right after agreements are reached.
In light of the violent clashes between DR Congo and Rwanda, the foreign ministers of both countries have agreed on Saturday to step up efforts to de-escalate the political crisis.
Regional relations in the area have been destabilized over recent months, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbor of backing a rebel militant group that has displaced tens of thousands of people.
Rwanda denies backing the group, but many rebuke these claims.
#DRC : It is imperative and urgent that the International Community hear the cry of the Congolese.— Kisoro Media (@Izabay5Innocent) November 2, 2022
It is INHUMAN to continue to see the atrocities that #Kagame and its #RDF / #M23 inflict on this population of Eastern DRC and not to sanction the #Rwanda . pic.twitter.com/AKL39MosNH
Following their meeting in Angola, the foreign ministers stated in a joint statement that they agreed to pursue talks "as a priority way of resolving the political crisis between the two brotherly countries" and to define "a timetable for accelerating" the de-escalation plan signed in July.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and President of the DRC Felix Tshisekedi had agreed on July 7 at a summit in Angola to end hostilities, an agreement that Angola's President Joao Lourenco called a "ceasefire".
But shortly after the agreement was announced, clashes resumed the following day.
After a short period of calm, the M23 militia sparked clashes again in October, taking over large territories in eastern DRC and causing thousands to be displaced.
Hypocritical UK condemnation to whom is supporting #M23. Why don't you name #Rwanda & #Uganda and sanctions them? Are you part of conspiracy for DRC balkanisation? pic.twitter.com/NXf3hFoamc— PLonghe (@LonghePhilippe) October 29, 2022
The rebel group resumed fighting in 2021 due to the failure of the DRC to implement a vow to integrate them into the army, among other pledges.
On October 29, DRC authorities expelled Rwanda's Ambassador to the DRC Vincent Karega, after allegations of the arrival of Rwandan troops on Congolese soil.
Eastern DRC has been stricken by frequent attacks from armed militias, some of which go back over 30 years ago.
The M23 movement has gained ground in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, prompting other regional actors to intervene in ending the conflict.
Last week, Kenya deployed troops to the DRC in a commitment to fight terrorism.
A Vist of the former president of Kenya #H.E uhuru kenyatta to bujumbura to discuss with current EAC head H.E Èvarste Ndayishimiye about security issues in #DRCONGO, 16 Nov 22 is set for peace talks between all stakeholders involved #M23 inclusive. #RwOT pic.twitter.com/tTytn5bl80— Derrick Mugabo (@DerricMugabo) November 5, 2022
A UN report revealed that the fighting has caused the displacement of over 50,000 people since October 20.
Some 12,000 have taken refuge in Uganda.
Struck by a visit to Dzaleka @refugees camp #UNHCR in Malawi with over 43,000 refugees & asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia & elsewhere. Touched by recounts of irregular migration #War #Hunger #ClimateCrisis #HumanRights pic.twitter.com/BoWlDFQAd1— Mark Mellett (@mark_mellett) November 5, 2022
Read more: DR Congo authorities report 14 casualties in militia attack