Rwanda has agreed to an immediate ceasefire in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in a move to de-escalate the ongoing conflict in the region.
Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwandan leader Paul Kagame discussed the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in a move to de-escalate the ongoing conflict in the region. The two leaders agreed on the need for the M23 rebels to cease fire and withdraw from captured territories. This is in line with the resolutions of the East African Community (EAC) bloc. President Kenyatta and President Kagame also reaffirmed their commitment to working together to bring peace and stability to the region.
Kenyatta and Kagame engaged in a telephone conversation in which they both underscored the importance of an immediate ceasefire. The East African Community released a statement afterwards indicating that the two leaders had agreed to continue talks in Luanda, Angola next week. This development comes amid mounting tensions between the two countries in recent weeks.
“Indeed, the fighting between M23 and the Congolese government forces has been going on for some time now, and many people are waiting to see if it will finally come to an end. Who Owns Africa’s East African correspondent Esther Jazmine is on the ground in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and he has more on the story.
He added that Kenya’s foreign ministry had also confirmed the phone call between the Rwandan president and Kenyatta, who has been mediating peace talks between DRC and rebel groups.
There has been fighting in Congo even in the last 12 hours, with reports of gunfire and bombs still going off. However, if the M23 does indeed withdraw from those territories ahead of the talks that are meant to start on Monday morning, it will be a positive step towards peace. The fact that the M23 is willing to negotiate at all is a good sign, and hopefully the talks will lead to a lasting peace in the region.
The M23 rebel group has seen a significant uptick in their fortunes in recent weeks, as they have made significant gains against government forces in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fighting has been intensifying in recent weeks, and the M23 rebels have been able to take advantage of this to seize more territory. This is a very worrying development for the government, as the rebels appear to be gaining momentum and could potentially pose a serious threat to their control of the country.
The rebels are now nearing the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. This latest offensive follows a series of diplomatic and military setbacks for the Congolese government, which has been struggling to contain the M23 insurgency since it began in April 2012.
The rebels are reportedly well-armed and have been receiving support from neighbouring Rwanda. The humanitarian situation in the region is deteriorating, with thousands of civilians fleeing the fighting. The United Nations has urged all parties to respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians caught up in the conflict.
Formed in 2012, the M23 rebels seized vast swathes of territory the same year and briefly overran Goma before they were chased out by Congolese and United Nations forces into Uganda and Rwanda the following year.
The M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace deal in 2013, after which many of its fighters were integrated into the Congolese army. However, after lying dormant for years, the group started fighting again in late 2021.
According to reports, the M23 has been attacking army positions and has even taken control of a town in the north-western province of North Kivu. The UN has warned that the resurgence of the M23 could lead to further instability in the already volatile region.
The M23 has staged three large-scale attacks since March, with the most recent one beginning at the end of October. Hundreds of people have died and nearly 200,000 have been displaced as a result of the fighting. The M23 is a rebel group that is made up of soldiers who defected from the Congolese army. They are fighting against the Congolese government, whom they accuse of not fulfilling the peace agreement that was signed in 2009. The M23 has been accused of human rights abuses, including rape and murder. They are also accused of recruiting child soldiers.
The unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has ignited diplomatic tensions between the DRC and Rwanda, which Kinshasa accuses of backing the rebels. Rwanda denies the accusation. Last month, the DRC expelled a Rwandan ambassador over the issue. The situation remains volatile, with both sides accusing the other of destabilising the region. The international community is closely watching the situation, as it has the potential to escalate into a full-blown conflict.
Regional efforts are under way to ease relations between the two countries to end the conflict unfolding along their border. The recent fighting has seen a dramatic escalation in tensions, with both sides accusing the other of supporting rebel groups. Congo has accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebel group, while Rwanda has accused Congo of supporting the FDLR rebel group.
Both Congo and Rwanda have denied these accusations, but the fighting has continued nonetheless. Thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting, and the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating.
The United Nations has called for an end to the fighting, and has deployed peacekeepers to the region in an attempt to stabilise the situation. However, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be successful.
Kenyatta visited the DRC earlier this week as facilitator of the EAC-led talks. He had meetings in Kinshasa with government officials, opposition leaders, and members of civil society. He also visited displaced people in Goma, to which the M23 rebel group drew closer this week. Kenyatta’s visit was designed to help promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the DRC.
Angola’s President Joao Lourenco mediated a first meeting between DRC and Rwandan officials earlier this month in an effort to ease tensions between the two countries. The meeting was a positive step forward, with both sides agreeing to work together to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
It is indeed encouraging to see President Paul Kagame of Rwanda take measures to try to influence the M23 rebel group in Congo. This is a very serious and ongoing conflict, with far-reaching consequences. It is vital that all regional leaders work together to find a peaceful solution.
We can only hope that President Kagame’s efforts will bear fruit and help to bring an end to the fighting. The people of Congo have suffered enough. They deserve to live in peace and stability.
The Rwandan government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the meeting between the two countries was positive. Both countries are committed to working together to find a solution that is in the best interests of both nations. Rwanda is a key partner in the region, and the United States is committed to helping them build a bright future for their people.