“We condemn Rwanda’s support for the M23 group and we ask that the Luanda and Nairobi processes be fully implemented,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said in a Monday statement.
According to the Congolese authorities, UN experts and US diplomats, the M23 is supported by Kigali. But Rwandan President Paul Kagame has repeatedly rejected these accusations and denied any link to the group’s actions. “The problem was not created by Rwanda, and is not Rwanda’s problem,” he said on Wednesday. “It is Congo’s problem.”
Kigali must ‘use its influence’
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Rwanda to “use its influence” on the rebel movement and said he “fully” supports the Luanda agreement to find a way out of the conflict in the eastern DRC.
The M23 (“March 23 Movement”), which took up arms late last year, has conquered large swathes of territory north of Goma, the provincial capital of the DRC’s North Kivu.
At least 131 civilians, including 17 women and 12 children, were shot or stabbed to death in late November in two villages in eastern DRC, according to a UN investigation. The report was made public last week and directly accuses the M23 rebellion.
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options