CrisisWatch Rwanda

Unchanged Situation

U.S. secured commitments from Kigali and Kinshasa to de-escalate tensions as Rwanda-backed M23 armed group made territorial gains in DR Congo.

U.S. said Kigali, Kinshasa agreed on de-escalation steps. U.S. govt 21 Nov said Intelligence Chief Avril Haines 19-20 Nov travelled to Rwanda and DR Congo, secured commitments from Kigali and Kinshasa to de-escalate tensions, although specific measures were not articulated publicly. Congolese army same day prohibited all soldiers, regardless of their ranks, from establishing or maintaining “any contact” with anti-Kigali Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. Fighting in following days continued in North Kivu between M23 rebels and Congolese forces.

Kinshasa continued to accuse Kigali of incursions, support for M23 rebels. Earlier in month, DR Congo’s permanent representative at UN, Zénon Mukongo Ngay, 1 Nov said images captured by UN mission (MONUSCO) surveillance drones show columns of Rwandan soldiers crossing border to reinforce M23 rebel positions in Runyoni, Kibumba and Tshanzu localities in North Kivu province. Following request filed by Kinshasa in May, International Criminal Court 4 Nov confirmed it will conduct preliminary examination to “determine the advisability of opening a new investigation” into crimes committed by M23 and others in North Kivu since 2022.

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