Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will meet on Wednesday over the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angolan President Joao Lourenço, who will also chair the international conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), will hold talks with the two leaders with the goal of negotiating peace between the two.
Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were after counter-accusations that each country was different rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, have fallen out with each other hostile to the other nation.
Kinshasa had previously accused Kigali of supporting the M23’s invasion of its territory. An accusation that Rwanda denied. Congo classifies the M23 rebels as a terrorist group. Rwanda, in turn, has accused the DRC of supporting FDLR rebels hostile to Kigali.
Relations between the DRC and Rwanda have deteriorated to the extent that Kinshasa has demanded that Rwanda no troops sent to East Africa region force to help stabilize eastern Congo.
Wednesday’s meeting is part of a mediation strategy following the African Union’s decision to ask Lourenço to agree a peace between the two countries
Accordingly to civil society in North Kivu: “50 military trucks from Rwanda” have crossed the border into the M23-held areas to support them”. And according to Bintou Keita, the head of Monusco, the rebels have “the military resources of a real army”.
In Kinshasa, the coordinator of the new civil society, Jonas Tshiombela, believes that the DRC “must first prevail militarily against the M23 before relying on the diplomatic option to solve the crisis with Rwanda.”
According to President Kagame, speaking on the conflict on Monday, the security problem cannot only be solved with force but requires political solutions.
President Tshisekedi said that all options, military and diplomatic, remain on the table to resolve the conflict. He said that “the will for peace and the willingness for dialogue should not be taken as a sign of weakness”.
After the escalation of the conflict, which had devastating consequences for the civilian population caught in the crossfire, the NGO Amnesty International has appealed to all parties to the conflict urged to respect the rules of international humanitarian law.
She called on the parties to the conflict to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the population already suffering from the recent fighting in North Kivu. More than 80,000 people have fled their homes since the fighting began.