Kagame, UN Secretary-General discuss escalation of armed violence and ethnic rhetoric in Eastern DRC

By Esther Muhozi
On 8 November 2023 at 08:56

President Paul Kagame, on November 7, 2023, engaged in a productive telephone conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres regarding the escalation of armed violence and ethnic rhetoric in eastern DRC Congo, as announced by the president’s office.

A brief statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) by Rwanda’s Presidency indicated that Kagame emphasized his view that the solution to the situation ’is not a military one but a political one’.

During their discussion, President Kagame and UNSG António Guterres also discussed continued strong collaboration towards peace and stability in DRC through ongoing regional efforts.

On November 6, 2023, Kagame had a productive call with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during which various topics were discussed, including the deteriorating security conditions in eastern DR Congo.

On the same day, the M23 rebels claimed to have retaken strategic positions in eastern DRC Congo that they had previously ceded to the East African Regional Force (EACRF) due to the worsening security situation in the region.

This development occurred several months after the rebels had vacated these positions as part of the Luanda peace agreement, which aimed to facilitate a negotiated resolution to the conflict in the volatile area.

Meanwhile, Dr. Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his disappointment and rejected the ongoing accusations made by representatives of the DR Congo government against Rwanda.

Dr. Biruta made these comments during a recent meeting of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He took the opportunity to voice his objections to accusations leveled against Rwanda by a representative of the DR Congo government at the same forum.

The Congolese military is currently engaged in combat alongside a coalition of local militia groups within their collective entity known as Wazalendo, as well as the FDLR, a terrorist organization comprised of Rwandans responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.