President Kagame and U.S. Secretary Blinken Discuss Security Challenges in Eastern DRC

President Paul Kagame held discussions on the phone with the U.S. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Antony J. Blinken, concerning security issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Office of the President of Rwanda announced that this conversation aimed to contribute to resolving the security challenges in the Eastern region of the DRC and fostering political cooperation.

The message from Village Urugwiro stated, “Today, President Kagame had a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on the security challenges in the Eastern DRC and the need to address political issues affecting the situation.”

The statement further conveyed, “President Kagame emphasized Rwanda’s support for peaceful dialogue initiatives at the regional level aimed at restoring peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the entire region.”

President Kagame and Blinken discussed these matters in a phone call on May 15, 2023, highlighting the importance of addressing security issues through diplomacy and urging all parties to take positive steps towards resolving these challenges.

During this period, the United States expressed its support for efforts to combat the ongoing instability and violence between Rwanda and the DRC through diplomatic means, while encouraging both sides to work towards a peaceful resolution.

These discussions come in the context of ongoing conflict between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), along with other armed groups, such as the FDLR, in the Kibumba area of Nyiragongo territory, located about 20 kilometers from the city of Goma.

The spokesperson for M23, Willy Ngoma, indicated on Twitter that they had seized territory and the situation was ongoing. The conflict has notably escalated around Kibumba and Buhumba, which are approximately 20 kilometers from Goma.

The conflict has been ongoing for a month, involving the Congolese military and various armed groups, including the FDLR. M23 announced this Sunday that they had taken control of parts of the territory, including Goma, in collaboration with Burundian troops.