Congo auctions 30 oil blocks amid environmentalists warning

Licensing rights for 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of Congo went up for auction on Thursday, opening parts of the world’s second-biggest rainforest to drilling that could release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

President Felix Tshisekedi presided over the launch of bidding at a ceremony in the capital Kinshasa. Attendees included representatives from France’s TotalEnergies and several domestic companies, although spokeswoman from the French oil giant said the company would not participate in bidding.

“The launch of the tendering process… speaks to our desire to put our resource potential at the service of our country,” President Tshisekedi said, arguing that fossil fuel production would boost development in one of the world’s poorest countries.

“This is in a context where fossil fuels including crude oil and gas are at the centre of global issues of peace and stability because of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.”

The President said modern drilling methods and tight regulation would minimise the ecological impact and denied that Congo was going back on commitments to protect its forests.

But environmental activists said drilling in the designated areas would inevitably have steep consequences. Several of the proposed oil blocks overlap with peatlands, swampy areas that hold billions of tones of carbon.

Simon Lewis, a leading researcher on Congo’s peatlands, estimated this month that drilling in the blocks proposed by the government could release up to 5.8 billion of tonnes of carbon, more than 14 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2021.

“In a zone where there are peatlands, any industrial exploitation means the explosion of a carbon bomb,” said Irène Wabiwa Betoko, who leads Greenpeace’s Congo Basin project.

Read: Greenpeace opposes DRC oil and gas project

Two of the other oil blocks overlap with Virunga National Park, a sanctuary for endangered mountain gorillas on the borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

Hydrocarbons Minister Didier Budimbu said bids to participate in production-sharing contracts with the government would be accepted over the next six months for oil blocks and three months for gas blocks.

Asked on Tuesday whether Congo might forego drilling in exchange for compensation from richer countries, presidential adviser Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu was skeptical.

He cited the example of Ecuador, which requested $3.6 billion in 2007 to offset revenue lost by not drilling in its Yasuni National Park. The initiative was scrapped in 2013 after it brought in less than four percent of the requested amount. Drilling began three years later.

In addition to 27 oil blocks, the rights to extract methane gas from three blocks in Lake Kivu are up for auction.

Vincent Rouget, the Africa director at Control Risks, a London-based consultancy, said Congo’s government was hoping to take advantage of high oil prices and fresh Western interest in alternatives to Russian fuel.

“But the combination of environmental risks, regulatory uncertainty in the sector, the huge logistical challenges of highly remote exploration, and on top of it all Congo’s higher political risk premium, will likely make many majors unwilling to commit,” Rouget said.

Previous efforts by Congolese governments to boost output beyond the roughly 25,000 barrels per day it has long produced along its Atlantic coast have run into these same challenges.

Tshisekedi’s government says Congo has 22 billion barrels of crude reserves and it is targeting production of 200,000 barrels per day.

But even if investment does pour in, critics say there is no guarantee it will benefit the Congolese people.

Congo is already a mining powerhouse, producing large amounts of copper, cobalt, gold, and diamonds, yet it remains deeply impoverished, due largely to corruption and misgovernance.

Two of the blocks on auction near Lake Albert in the east were stripped from Israeli investor Dan Gertler last year. Gertler is under US sanctions for alleged corruption in Congo’s mining sector. He denies any wrongdoing.

Gertler was in attendance at Thursday’s ceremony, a Reuters reporter said.

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Licensing rights for 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of Congo went up for auction on Thursday, opening parts of the world’s second-biggest rainforest to drilling that […]

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Death toll from anti-Monusco protests in DR Congo rises to 19

Four more people have died, raising the death toll from the violent protests against the UN stabilisation mission in Congo (Monusco) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to 19.

Officials said Thursday that the four died in Uvira, South Kivu, as they protested against the peacekeepers.

Hundreds of people have been protesting in North Kivu and South Kivu provinces since Monday against the “ineffectiveness” of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Congo, which they blame for not taming violence from armed groups.

According to Patrick Muyaya, the government spokesman and Minister for Communication, the four protesters died of electrocution.

“The peacekeepers fired in the air, and the shots hit an electricity pole. A cable tore, and unfortunately, the people were electrocuted. That’s what caused four deaths,” said Mr Muyaya, calling on the Congolese not to make the wrong enemies.

“We must not make the wrong enemy. Our enemy is not Monusco. Our enemy is the M23,” he added, referring to a militia group that has recently resurfaced, launching deadly attacks on the Congolese army, including on peacekeepers’ camps.

Read: The M23 problem, Kigali’s headache and some hard truths

Following two days of deadly violence in North Kivu, the governor, Constant Ndima, has banned gatherings and political marches.

Congolese officials have also been making repeated calls for calm. The Catholic Church, which is very influential in the DRC, has also called for calm.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and staff of the UN mission in the DRC. Khassim Diagne, Deputy Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC, said, “even Congolese Monusco staff have been attacked at their homes.”

Mr Guterres warns that “any attack on UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.” He called on the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and quickly bring those responsible to justice.

By Wednesday, 12 civilians had died, including three Monusco staff — a peacekeeper and two police officers.

“Monusco is heartbroken by the death of three colleagues killed in action. We salute their courage and sacrifice. We are also saddened by the deaths of protesters. I reiterate the mission is in the DRC at the government’s invitation to help protect civilians and promote stability,” Mr Diagne said after a meeting with Congolese officials led by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde on Wednesday.

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Four more people have died, raising the death toll from the violent protests against the UN stabilisation mission in Congo (Monusco) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to 19. […]

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Burundi secretly sent troops to DR Congo – rights group

Burundi has secretly sent hundreds of troops and members of a youth militia into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo since the end of 2021 to fight an armed rebel group, a Burundian human rights group said Wednesday.

The main target of the operation is the RED-Tabara, the Burundi Human Rights Initiative said, referring to the most active of the rebel groups which is deemed a terrorist organization by the Burundian government.

Burundi has always denied carrying out any secret operations, insisting it has acted only within the framework of joint operations by the East African Community (EAC), African Union or United Nations.

Burundi is part of a regional force agreed by the EAC in June to fight the myriad rebel groups involved in an upsurge of violence in the eastern DRC that has ensnared neighbouring countries.

Read: Why EAC force is yet to deploy to DR Congo

“Several hundred Burundian soldiers and Imbonerakure — more than 1,000 — are believed to have gone to the DRC in successive waves since late 2021,” the BHRI said in a report.

The Imbonerakure are members of the youth league of the ruling CNDD-FDD party of President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

“For more than 10 years, Burundian soldiers and Imbonerakure have periodically sought to hunt down Burundian armed opposition groups in the DRC,” the BHRI said.

“But the current operation is different in scale and duration,” it said, adding that about 700 were estimated to be on DRC soil in the early phase of the deployment in December.

The rights group, which is based abroad, said it collected testimonies from soldiers, relatives and members of the ruling and opposition parties.

It said it was not able to confirm the exact numbers of troops or incursions, although it reported that the UN Group of Experts collected information on 17 incursions in the Uvira region between September last year and this March.

“Some soldiers are ordered to swap their military uniforms for civilian clothes and leave behind possessions that could identify them,” said the BHRI.

The report said those returning have been warned not to talk about their mission, and little or no explanation is given to the families of those who die on the battlefield.

It said some Imbonerakure have become angry about their treatment during the military operation, with some saying they felt they had been deceived or abandoned.

In May, Ndayishimiye said he was ready “to dialogue” with Burundian rebels in DRC, in particular RED-Tabara and the National Forces of Liberation (FNL).

Founded in 2011, RED-Tabara has been accused of a string of attacks in Burundi since 2015. 

In September it claimed responsibility for an attack on the international airport in Bujumbura, the country’s economic capital.

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Burundi has secretly sent hundreds of troops and members of a youth militia into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo since the end of 2021 to fight an armed rebel group, […]

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US senator questions aid to Rwanda over human rights, role in Congo

The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he would place a hold on US security assistance to Rwanda in Congress over concerns about the Rwandan government’s human rights record and role in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Senator Robert Menendez called for a comprehensive review of US policy towards Rwanda.

Menendez said he would begin by placing a hold on several million dollars in support for Rwandan peacekeepers participating in UN missions, according to the letter, which was leaked to the media and which his office confirmed was authentic. A hold is a Senate procedure that prevents a motion from reaching the floor for a vote.

Menendez said he feared that US support for the Rwandan military, while it is deployed to Congo and backing rebels, would send “a troubling signal that the US tacitly approves of such actions.”

Read: The M23 demon: Could Rwanda ultimately invade DRC?

The M23 rebel group began a major offensive in Congo’s eastern borderlands with Rwanda at the end of March. Congo has accused Rwanda of backing M23, which Kigali denies.

Read: The M23 problem, Kigali’s headache and some hard truths

The United States allocated more than $147 million in foreign assistance to Rwanda in 2021, making it Rwanda’s largest bilateral donor.

Menendez also cited what he said were credible accusations that the Rwandan government was muzzling critics at home and targeting dissidents living outside the country.

The US State Department reviews its policies in response to events on the ground and would consult closely with Congress on the question of aid to Rwanda, department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday.

“We’ve said before that we’re concerned about the rising tensions between the DRC and Rwanda,” Price told a regular press briefing, urging both sides to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue.

A Rwandan government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he would place a hold on US security assistance to Rwanda in Congress over concerns about the Rwandan government’s human […]

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Protesters storm UN base in eastern DR Congo city

Protesters stormed a United Nations base in the eastern Congolese city of Goma on Monday, an AFP journalist said, demanding the departure of peacekeepers from the region.

Hundreds of people blocked roads and chanted anti-UN slogans before storming the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in Goma, as well as a logistical base on the outskirts of the city.

The protesters smashed windows and looted computers, furniture and other valuables from the headquarters, an AFP journalist witnessed, while UN police officers fired tear gas in a bid to push them back.

At the logistics base, a student was shot in the leg, the AFP journalist added.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, known as Monusco, has come under regular local criticism for its perceived inability to stop fighting in the conflict-torn east.

Over 120 armed groups roam the volatile region, where conflict has displaced millions of people and civilian massacres are common.

Ahead of Monday’s protest, the Goma youth branch of the ruling UDPS party released a statement demanding Monusco “withdraw from Congolese soil without conditions because it has already proved its incapacity to provide us with protection”. 

Khassim Diagne, the deputy special representative of the UN secretary-general to Monusco, told AFP that the UN is not opposed to protests but that violence is unacceptable. 

“These are looters,” he said. “We condemn them in the strongest terms”.

The latest protest comes after the president of the Congolese senate, Modeste Bahati, told supporters in Goma on July 15 that Monusco should “pack its bags”.

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Protesters stormed a United Nations base in the eastern Congolese city of Goma on Monday, an AFP journalist said, demanding the departure of peacekeepers from the region. Hundreds of people […]

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The M23 problem, Kigali’s headache and some truths few want to hear

Soon after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was elected President of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – the predecessor to the African Union — the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) composed of Rwandan exiles and refugees, mostly Tutsis, decided to attack Rwanda on October 1, 1990 using his country as a launch pad.

Four years earlier, the Rwandans had helped Museveni rise to power in Kampala and had held key positions in the new Ugandan army. Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda, was a senior officer in the Ugandan military intelligence, while his comrade in arms Fred Rwigema, killed at the frontline in the early days of the campaign, had been minister of State for Defence.

Museveni was upset, his election at the helm of the continental body meant the elevation of the former rebel leader, brought to power by the force of arms, as an equal among world peers. And now these “boys,” as Museveni used to call them, risked ruining his moment. The situation seemed all the more upsetting as he had trouble convincing anyone that he was not behind this “aggression” on a neighbouring and brotherly country.

Museveni recounted how it happened while he was attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York: “The news reached me at night, I tried to wake President [Juvenal] Habyarimana in vain. The man was a heavy sleeper.”

Thirty years later, Rwanda was likely in the position Museveni was, following the recent attacks of the Congolese rebel movement of March 23rd, as M23 – in reference to an unfulfilled peace treaty signed on March 23, 2009, between its leaders and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

It came as Kigali was getting ready to host, in less than a month, 50 heads of state, members of the Commonwealth. While relations between Rwanda and the DRC had finally warmed up with the advent of Félix Tshisekedi to power in Kinshasa, Kigali would have done without another M23 attack, which put it in a delicate geopolitical situation, provoking fresh anti-Rwandan rhetoric in DRC.

Congo problem, Rwandan exhibits

rebels
A rebel group in Ituri Province, the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on September 19, 2020. PHOTO | AFP

The DRC public often conflates the M23 with the Rwandan army, and for good reason. Some commanders of the rebel group had joined the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), the military wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in its own armed struggle of the 1990s which put an end to the genocide against the Tutsi.

Once the war was over, the Congolese Tutsi returned home to their highlands of Kivu, eastern DRC, where in the meantime, anti-Tutsi hatred had been shifted by the genocide perpetrators, who had been defeated back home. Supported by then Zairean strongman Mobutu Sese Seko, the “genocidaires” were targeting the Tutsi in Zaire.

This is how, with the support of Rwanda and Uganda, they took up arms again to defend their community in a struggle that galvanised other Mobutu opponents with their own national grievances, leading them to march on Kinshasa, ousting Mobutu, and replacing him with Laurent Désiré Kabila in September 1997.

Once installed, Kabila would fall out with his hitherto allies who had brought him to power, even going as far as collaborating with the same genocidaires. His replacement by his son Joseph Kabila would not change much.

In Rwanda, there was hope with the advent, at last, of a new first name in the Congolese political spectrum since its independence in 1960: in the absence of Antoine, the patriarch; his heir Felix!

Read: Kagame stars in DR Congo Tshisekedi ceremonies

All seemed well at first, with the coming to power of Felix Tshisekedi, relations between the DRC and Rwanda were almost repaired. It was mostly the Congolese diaspora, aggrieved by “the aggression of little Rwanda on great Zaire,” who disliked the new rapprochement.

Short-lived honeymoon

To understand the “M23 problem” one needs to appreciate that there are three types of rebels in the DRC. The first, small militias with no national political agenda, that attack civilians, rarely fight each other, coexist with the regular army (FARDC) and UN peacekeepers (Monusco). These constitute the majority, their interests do not go beyond their communities. There are more than 100.

Then there are foreign groups that exploit the weakness – some read it as an absence – of the state and national army, to use the vast DRC territory as a breeding ground for attacks against their countries of origin. It is in this category that we find the Rwandan genocidaires, known as FDLR, and the Ugandan terrorists known as ADF-NALU. In the past, there were other Sudanese and Ugandan groups – including the infamous Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony, Congo-Brazzaville groups and even Angolans. The dense forests of the DRC are a festering ground for all manner of armed groups from the region.

Then there is the M23. Congolese citizens, with national grievances linked to lack of security, discrimination of their community and poor governance at large.

The first and second categories of militias are rarely bothered because they do everyone’s business: smuggling, illicit trafficking of minerals, enriching FARDC commanders and multinationals, sponsor political careers in Kinshasa and justify the presence of both UN forces in the DRC for more than 20 years and that of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) for 10 years.

The M23 pose a (geo)political problem, because they seize territory, threaten power in the capital Kinshasa, which in turn exposes the weaknesses of the national army, of national politics, and of the UN. To make themselves heard, the M23 are fighting against everyone, including the two other categories of rebel groups, the FARDC, and even Monusco – sometimes all three in a coalition.

Read: DR Congo’s M23: A rebel group re-emerges

According to an “incident monitoring think tank” manned by international researchers in eastern DRC, the Congolese army FARDC is one of the most violent against civilians, at times their killings surpass those of Ugandan Islamists ADF-Nalu, and Rwandan FDLR genocidaires.

Ten years ago, M23 was defeated by a UN-backed Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) made of South African, Tanzanian and Malawian armies. FIB’s mission was to defeat “all the negative forces” in eastern DRC. At the time, M23 posed little resistance and with some political assurances, withdrew into Rwanda and Uganda.

The FIB seems to have since “acclimatised” to Congolese “Rumba” like everyone else, read: doing nothing, and allegedly engaging in illicit trade.

Rock and hard place

map showing conflict-prone DRC provinces

Upon accession to power, President Tshisekedi wanted to be seen as tackling the protracted armed conflict in eastern DRC. So he declared a “State of Siege” in North Kivu and Ituri. State of emergency means the region is run by the army and most civil rights are suspended. State of emergency also means a hefty budget sent to eastern DRC and managed by the army.

Read: Military replaces civilian authorities in eastern DRC

However, a recent parliament audit revealed that of the $74 million allocated to “State of siege” to be sent to Kivu and Ituri, 68 percent was “eaten” in Kinshasa, 12 percent went to unknown expenditure of the army, and only the remaining 20 percent was sent to eastern Congo.

Following the recent attack by the M23 two months ago, the occupation of the towns of Bunagana and the province of Ruchuru on the border with Uganda, Tshisekedi accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel movement, a charge Kigali vehemently denies.

But what alternative did Tshisekedi have? Should he have explained to the Congolese that they have no army? That they never had one? That Mobutu appealed to mercenaries (Jean Schramme, Bob Denard) or to foreign countries (Morocco, Senegal, Chad, Togo) to help keep security and power? There are more than 58 countries contributing troops to Monusco for over 20 years, with dismal results.

Read: DR Congo wants UN mission to leave

monusco
Monusco soldiers fire at Codeco militia during the extraction of a Red Cross team which had been ambushed in Dhedja on December 19, 2021 in Ituri, DR Congo. PHOTO | AFP

The FARDC spend their time playing “Sobels” (Soldier by day, Rebel by night) – a sobriquet borrowed from Sierra Leone and Liberia civil war of the 90s. They change clothes to loot the populations they are supposed to protect, collaborate with the FDLR, and sell weapons and ammunition on the black market from Uvira to Beni.

Read: How M23 and Congolese army commanders benefited from $57m illegal trade in Kivu

Are the Congolese ready to listen to these truths? The first politician to venture there would immediately sign his political death, a year before the elections, and Tshisekedi is not suicidal. Using Rwanda as a scapegoat seems like the only political card in his hand.

Read: DR Congo, Rwanda agree to ease tension

Hate speech revived

While no proof of these accusations has been brought forth, the streets, from Kinshasa to Brussels, need no further convincing. Unfortunately, accusing Rwanda brings with it the old demons of “Tutsiphobia”. Anti-Tutsi hate speech across DRC has risen to troubling proportions. Congolese social media is awash with anti-Rwanda hate speech, lists of Tutsi members of the FARDC are being published online with rewards promised to anyone who would “cleanse our army”.

Tutsi of Banyamulenge community in South Kivu’s high plateau have left their homesteads after their cattle were looted by various militia, and now live in UN-protected IDP camps.

Images of young militias affiliated to Tshisekedi’s ruling party (UDPS) were seen in the streets of Kinshasa, armed with machetes, stopping cars looking for Tutsis. Several people have been killed by Congolese mobs, for allegedly “looking” Tutsi, including one Lt-Col Joseph Kaminzobe, member of the Banyamulenge community and officer of the regular army, burnt alive by young people in Lweba, South Kivu. Many Congolese Tutsi civilians are reported to have been burnt alive, and at least in one case, Mr Semutobo, a Munyamulenge, was lynched by a mob of young people in Kalima district who posted it online.

Read: Rising hate speech in Congo conflict alarms UN

M23’s beef with Kinshasa

peace agreement signed in Nairobi in December 2013, between the Congolese government and the M23 consisted of:

  • Amnesty to all M23 fighters who did not commit war crimes and crimes against humanity;
  • Register M23 as a legitimate political party.
  • Repatriation of “Rwandophone” of Congolese nationality, sheltered in refugee camps in Rwanda and Uganda.

The agreement has never been implemented for ten years hence, causing the recent attack by the M23.

Ironically, M23 claims it doesn’t want to fight. While they are occupying important towns of Bunagana and Ruchuru in Noth Kivu, they claim to do so to compel the DRC government to implement the Nairobi accords and are ready to relinquish them.

bunagana
Bunagana in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the border with Uganda. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG

Amid the accusations against Rwanda and its denials, there is one fact: Kigali is not going to fight the M23.

Indeed options of possible support to the DRC army in fighting M23 were being studied in Rwandan quarters until Congolese politicians started accusing Kigali and FARDC shelled Rwandan territories of Rubavu and Kinigi, heightening tensions between the two neighbours.

As a reminder, the M23 political wing, which has been sheltered in Rwanda for the last ten years, has not left their camps, while those of Uganda, led by Commander Sultani Makenga quietly left Uganda five years ago, and have since been based in DRC forests near the Ugandan border.

Following routs on the battlefield during the war that opposed it to the RPF in the 90s, then Habyarimana’s government accused “Ibyitso Tutsi” internal spies of the loss. My mother, who had run a hairdressing salon in Kigali for 10 years, and who had never been involved in politics, was arrested and detained for a year with thousands of other civilians, for the simple reason that they were Tutsi. Today, it is the turn of any Congolese with “Tutsi facial expressions” to “prove their citizenship”.

I am not worried about the repeated calls by Congolese populists to attack and annex Rwanda, after all, as Wole Soyinka would say, “A tiger does not proclaim his tigritude, he pounces”. What worries me is the resurgence of hate speech and violent killings targeting Congolese Tutsi, and anyone with “doubtful” features; the Luba, Ngbandi, Bashi… all Congolese citizens.

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Soon after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was elected President of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – the predecessor to the African Union — the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) composed […]

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DRC, Rwanda agree to ease tension and normalize diplomatic relations

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on Wednesday agreed to immediately cease hostilities between the two countries, Angolan President João Lourenço has announced.

Following the Wednesday meeting in Luanda, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame also agreed to create an ad-hoc observation mechanism to help ease tensions, he added.

Luanda will next Tuesday host the Rwanda-DRC bilateral joint commission meeting, President Lourenço, who is also the chairman of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), said in his capacity as mediator.  He was appointed by the African Union to mediate in the Kinshasa-Kigali crisis.

“I am pleased to announce that we have had positive results, in our view, in that we have agreed on a ceasefire, among other measures that are contained in the roadmap that has just been presented,” President Lourenço added.

Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), João Lourenço (ANgola) and Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo) speak following a mediation meeting in Luanda on July 6, 2022. PHOTO | COURTESY | DR CONGO PRESIDENCY

Rwanda and DR Congo have been at loggerheads following counter accusations of each country supporting different rebel groups in eastern DRC hostile to the other nation.

DR Congo and Rwanda relations deteriorated after Kinshasa accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels, who have been involved in a series of clashes with the army since the end of May. Kigali denied the allegations, but in turn accused DRC of supporting FDLR rebels who are hostile to Rwanda.

On Sunday, President Tshisekedi said that there was no doubt that Rwanda was backing a rebellion in his country after the resurgence of the M23 rebels active in the east of the country, near the border between both countries.

Kinshasa had earlier also suspended Rwandan carrier RwandAir from flying into the country, and summoned Rwanda’s ambassador to warn him of the country’s position.

The medication process was meant to help restore confidence between Rwanda and the DRC.

“This objective will be achieved gradually via a so-called Luanda roadmap based on the re-launch of the DRC-Rwanda joint commission, which has not met for several years,” Tshisekedi’s communication office said. This commission will hold its first meeting on July 12, 2022 in Luanda.

The roadmap stipulates a willingness to normalise diplomatic relations between Kinshasa and Kigali.

“Angola has amassed vast experience in solving conflicts thus I think this conflict between DRC and Rwanda will come to an end with President Lourenço’s mediation,” Macolino Tavares, a political analyst, told The EastAfrican.

“This conflict between brothers has no deep reason to keep on. With Angola mediation it will come soon to an end,” Matias Pires, another analyst, told Angolan state-owned Rádio Nacional de Angola.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on Wednesday agreed to immediately cease hostilities between the two countries, Angolan President João Lourenço has announced. Following the Wednesday meeting in […]

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