On January 11, 2024, the French government stressed the importance of Tshisekedi taking action to restore peace in the long-troubled eastern region of the DRC. The French government, on Thursday, declared its support for regional initiatives aimed at achieving a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the current crisis in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Simultaneously, the Belgian government, while acknowledging Tshisekedi’s victory, reminded him of his responsibility to actively contribute to resolving the conflict with M23, ultimately establishing lasting peace and security. Belgium urged the Congolese authorities to approach the matter with openness and a constructive mindset.
The joint appeal from France and Belgium comes at a time when Tshisekedi is seeking support to counter M23, an armed group operating in North Kivu. Despite M23 expressing a willingness for dialogue on multiple occasions, it has also cautioned that it will continue to defend itself if Tshisekedi pursues a military solution.
The Congolese government, however, has consistently favored military approaches over dialogue, leading to increased tensions and persistent instability in the region. This stance, despite international calls for negotiation and the pursuit of sustainable solutions, has drawn criticism from various global actors who argue that an inclusive, dialogue-oriented strategy is essential to address security and development challenges in eastern DRC comprehensively.