President Paul Kagame on Monday had a phone call with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with whom he discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the Office of the President, the Head of State and Secretary Blinken discussed the persistent conflict in the eastern part of DRC, with President Kagame emphasizing supporting regional efforts, including Luanda and Nairobi processes to quell the conflict that has claimed lives of many and displaced hundreds of thousands.
“President Kagame had a productive call with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today to discuss the deterioration of the security situation in Eastern DRC, as well as the need for de-escalation of hostilities and a political resolution to the conflict,” Urugwiro Village tweeted.
“President Kagame reiterated Rwanda’s firm support for the ongoing regional processes to bring peace and stability to DRC and the region.” it added.
Rwanda maintains that all efforts to de-escalate tensions in DRC should focus on solving the historical issues that have made the conflict recur, including removing all armed groups, including the FDLR, and ending the historical ethnic hate and targeting of Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, which in the first place led to the emergency of groups such as M23.
Kigali also says these issues, which Kinshasa has failed to address for decades, created a refugee problem for Rwanda, with over 70, 000 Congolese refugees stuck in refugee camps in Rwanda.
Rwanda also accuses DRC of backing the FDLR militia, which is operating in cahoots with the Congolese government army FARDC, and other armed groups such as Nyatura, PARECO, Mai Mai and the so-called Wazalendo coalition, to unless ethnic violence against Rwandophones in North Kivu Province.
Kigali also accuses DRC of engaging in provocative acts, including several cross-border attacks and skirmishes as well as the government mobilizing citizens to aggress Rwanda and Rwandans.
Last month, Yolande Makolo, Government Spokesperson, through a statement, said Rwanda would not hesitate to defend itself against any acts of aggression following a cross-border incident in which one Rwandan citizens was injured by a stray bullet from fighting between M23 rebels and government-backed armed groups.