Their discussions were held on Sunday 4th December 2022 as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta has confirmed.
They were held amidst deteriorated relations between Rwanda and DRC over reciprocal accusations.
Rwanda accuses DRC of working with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to destabilize its security while the country accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel group in clashes with Congolese Army (FARDC).
DR Congo officials have been claiming that their country was invaded by Rwanda through M23.
In a message posted on his Twitter handle, Blinken said that he had productive conversation with President Kagame to underscore the need for peace and security in eastern DRC.
He further said that ‘The United States urges Rwanda to honor commitments made in Luanda, including ending Rwanda’s support to M23’.
Rwanda has repeatedly denied the accusations of supporting M23 and urged DR Congo not to externalize its problems.
The rebel group resumed fighting accusing DRC of failure to implement peace accords signed in 2013.
In a message posted on Twitter, Minister Biruta underscored that President Kagame had good discussions with Blinken ‘but differences in understanding of the issue remain’.
He also said that ‘the wrong and misguided approach of the international community continues to exacerbate the problem’.
“A lasting solution requires the responsibility to be placed where it belongs,” said Dr. Biruta.
Minister pointed out the dysfunction of the DRC government and its institutions, and the support to FDLR as the first issue.
Minister Biruta also highlighted that ‘External interference and dictates in regional and continental efforts that serve to shield DRC from accountability and emboldens them to be unresponsive to commitments made through ongoing processes’ is among other issues holding back efforts to find a solution.
“M23 should not be equated to Rwanda. It is not Rwanda’s problem to solve. The security concerns of Rwanda need to be addressed, and where others may not feel obliged to, Rwanda is and will continue to do so,” he noted.