Big guns

DRC-Rwanda: US to dispatch Blinken to calm tensions

By Romain Gras, Julian Pecquet

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Posted on July 27, 2022 16:43

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda next month to try to tamp down escalating tensions between the two countries, The Africa Report has learned. On the agenda: the M23 rebellion, elections, and mining contracts.

The decision to dispatch America’s top diplomat to the region despite a rash of geopolitical crises starting with the war in Ukraine is a telling sign of the Joe Biden administration’s deep concern that the crisis in eastern Congo could spiral out of control. This will only be Blinken’s third trip to the continent, following his visit to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal in November and to Algeria and Morocco in March.

US and Congolese sources tell The Africa Report that Blinken is expected to fly to Africa in the first half of August. The State Department and Rwandan authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

Under discussion for several weeks, the preparation of this visit to the DRC accelerated two months ago, during the visit to the United States of the Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula. The latter met with his American counterpart on 1 June.


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