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DR Congo And Rwanda Leaders To Discuss Peace, Angola Announces

ANGOLA announced on Thursday that the presidents of DR Congo and Rwanda might meet ‘very soon’ to discuss establishing peace in the conflict-ridden eastern DR Congo. This development follows Angola’s mediation efforts to address the ongoing violence in North Kivu, where M23 rebels have been clashing with DR Congo forces since late 2021.

The M23 rebels have captured significant territory, almost encircling Goma, North Kivu’s provincial capital. Their actions have resulted in numerous deaths and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Diplomatic efforts to bring Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi to the negotiation table have been ongoing for several months.

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Angolan President Joao Lourenco, during his visit to Côte d’Ivoire, stated that negotiations are underway at the ministerial level to facilitate a meeting between the two heads of state for direct discussions on achieving lasting peace. Lourenco emphasised that negotiating is the only viable solution to resolving the conflict.

However, DR Congo’s Prime Minister Judith Suminwa Tuluka, during a visit to Goma, ruled out any negotiations with Rwanda, advocating instead for ‘strong actions and targeted sanctions’ against Kigali. She affirmed that DR Congo would not negotiate with its attackers and urged for diplomatic efforts to pressure the aggressor to cease hostilities.

The situation remains dire, with recent violence exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. On May 23, a bombing attributed to M23 rebels at a camp for displaced persons killed 35 people. The eastern region of DR Congo, rich in minerals, has been plagued by violence for three decades, involving various armed groups since the regional wars of the 1990s.

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