The US is now putting pressure on Rwanda to cooperate in ending the war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

The US is now putting pressure on Rwanda to cooperate in ending the war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

NAIROBI, Kenya – Antony Blinken – US Secretary of State has called on Paul Kagame’s government to work to de-escalate the war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] where Congolese forces are engaged in a battle with M23 rebels who Blinken claims have the support of the Rwandan government.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Blinken held a separate private meeting with Dr. Vincent Biruta-Rwanda’s foreign minister on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

The US Secretary of State tweeted that “I had an important meeting with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta today on the sidelines of my G20 meetings in Bali. I underscored US deep concern about the continued violence in eastern DRC, and called on Rwanda to take active measures to facilitate de-escalation.”

In response, Biruta noted: “Thank you Secretary Blinken for the good meeting. I reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to the Nairobi and Luanda regional mechanisms to bring peace and stability to eastern DRC and the region, and the need for all stakeholders to work towards a political solution to the crisis.”

The M23 rebels recently captured key towns in North Kivu where they clashed with Congolese forces as they advance towards the key city of Goma.

Last week, Angolan President João Lourenço went to Rwanda where he held private talks with President Paul Kagame about the rising tensions between Rwanda and the DRC.

Lourennco is the president of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which developed the Luanda Roadmap that calls on both countries to respect each other’s territorial integrity and stop supporting rebels.

Earlier this week, Nshuti Manasseh-Rwanda’s Prime Minister held private talks with members of the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee led by Michel Xavier Biang in Kigali.

The meeting comes after a similar visit to Kinshasa over the escalating situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the two meetings, the UN sanctions committees have not imposed any sanctions against Rwanda.

Last week, President Tshisekedi met with a delegation of Rwandan-speaking Tutsi Congolese “on the issue of their security wherever they are in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, in a move aimed at easing tensions with Rwanda – which has expressed sympathy for the plight for the country. The Tutsi community in the DRC.

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