DRC-Rwanda: Kigali’s discreet diplomatic response

By Romain Gras, Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala
Posted on Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:09, updated on Friday, 17 June 2022 02:27

Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali , 2021 © Paul Kagame/FLICKR

Three days before the capture of the strategic town of Bunagana by M23 rebels, Kigali summoned the Congolese chargé d'affaires in Rwanda to denounce “aggression” and “provocations” on the part of the DRC.

The tension between Kinshasa and Kigali has not let up. While the M23 rebels seized the town of Bunagana, an important crossroads for cross-border trade between the DRC and Uganda on 13 June, Kinshasa has continued to accuse Rwanda of being behind the “invasion” of its territory.

On the diplomatic front, negotiations for a peaceful solution seem to have stalled. Several attempts at dialogue have taken place over the past two weeks. The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, has visited Goma and Kigali. Angolan President João Lourenço, the African Union’s (AU) appointed mediator, hopes to organise a meeting between Paul Kagame and Félix Tshisekedi. But “things are at a standstill,” said a member of the Congolese president’s inner circle.