CrisisWatch Rwanda

Unchanged Situation

International diplomacy continued to push govt to seek solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo; tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa remained high.

International actors called for Rwanda to pursue diplomatic resolution. On sidelines of 30-year Rwandan genocide commemorations in capital Kigali, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa 6 April met with President Kagame amid strained ties over former’s contribution of troops to southern African bloc (SADC) mission in DR Congo (DRC); Ramaphosa next day said both leaders emphasised need for political solution over military action. Mauritanian President and AU Head Mohamed El Ghazouani held similar discussions with Kagame, seeking to facilitate dialogue and secure ceasefire in eastern DRC. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron 23 April called for dialogue between Kagame and his Congolese counterpart Félix Tshisekedi and urged respect for DRC “territorial integrity” during call with Rwandan president.

Tensions remained high over Kigali’s role in DRC. Kagame 8 April said Congolese M23 rebels only existed as they were “denied their rights as citizens” and those accusing Rwanda of supporting group should themselves be accused of “not supporting M23” due to “injustice” done to community. Belgian ambassador to Kinshasa Roxane de Bilderling 19 April argued DRC could lodge formal complaint with International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Rwanda; Rwandan govt rejected suggestions, saying instead “DRC should take Belgium to ICJ”. Meanwhileduring Tshisekedi’s official visit to France, Congolese president 29 April denounced “predatory and expansionist ambitions” of unnamed countries while Macron next day called on Kigali to end “support for M23 and withdraw its forces from Congolese territory”.

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