Tshisekedi and Kagame agree on a ceasefire, according to

While Kinshasa and Kigali were at war, Congolese Presidents Félix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame embarked on a “de-escalation process”. Angolan President João Lourenço, organizer of a tripartite summit in Luanda, announced on Wednesday, July 6, that the two heads of state have reached an agreement on a ceasefire. This could ease tensions in northern Kivu, affected by the violence in the conflict between the Congolese armies and the M23 rebels.

The Presidents Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi decided on an immediate ceasefire, according to Angolan President João Lourenço. To ensure its respect, an ad hoc observation mechanism will be set up, led by an Angolan officer.

This will be added to the enhanced Joint Verification Mechanism of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the effectiveness of which is being questioned by both parties.

However, the road to downsizing will be long and gradual, says a source at the Congolese presidency, according to our correspondent in Kalemie Patient Ligodi

This will be done mainly through the Joint Commission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda with a view to restoring trust between the two countries. In its previous configuration, this now dormant framework allowed delegates from two countries to discuss several bilateral issues, including security, trade and migration.

The document was not released but according to the Congolese presidency, the parties decided to adopt a “de-escalation process”. According to Kinshasa, this roadmap notes “the willingness to normalize diplomatic relations between Kinshasa and Kigali”, and provides for “the immediate cessation of hostilities”, “the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the M23 from its positions in the Congo”.

In their discussions on Wednesday, the three heads of state did not just talked about the M23but also of the exploitation of the DRC’s mineral resources. The document also specifies: “all use of natural resources must be carried out with strict respect for the sovereignty of states”.

“A little step” but the basic problems far from solved But before all these goals are achieved, there is no doubt that it will take time. “This meeting is a step forward, even in small steps,” entrusts one participant.

For the basic problems are far from solved. Kinshasa hoped that Kigali would recognize, for example, to support the M23. At least on the ground, fighting continues Monday, clashes between rebels and the Congolese army in northern Kivu.

The Congolese and Rwandan authorities will continue the discussions on July 12, still in Luanda, whose government will therefore remain the mediator of the crisis. Meanwhile, Kinshasa is still awaiting the withdrawal of M23 fighters from newly captured positions, such as the border town of Bunagana.

“We hope that each country, particularly Rwanda, will this time honor its commitments to lasting peace” in the region, “confirmed Erik Nyindu, communications director of the Congolese presidency.

Also read:DRC: the alarm call from a Goma national deputy following attacks attributed to the ADF

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