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DESPERATE CALL: Tshisekedi Runs to Russia For Help as M23 Continue to Advance in the East

Democratic Republic of Congo President Fèlix Tshisekedi has turned to Russia for assistance amidst growing pressure from the M23 Rebel Group who continue to occupy more territories in the eastern part of the country.

M23 have continued to advance towards strategic territories in the east including Goma, North Kivu following latest clashes with the Congolese Army (FARDC) on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, the Russian government announced the approval of a draft military cooperation agreement with the DRC as per government resolution published on the official legal information portal.

“In accordance with Article 11 of the Russian Federal Law ‘On International Agreements of Russia, (the government) approved the draft agreement on military cooperation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, presented by the Russian Defense Ministry in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry and other relevant federal executive bodies,” says the document cited by the state agency Tass.

The agreement is also available on the Russian government’s portal, provides for the organization joint military exercises, participation and monitoring of exercises at the invitation of relevant agencies, visits to wars and combat aircraft upon invitation or request, training military and other formats of cooperation, Tass indicated.

In October 2022, Tshisekedi had ruled out calling on Russian “mercenaries” from the Wagner group to combat persistent insecurity in eastern DRC.

Tshisekedi has since changed his stance and called for the help of Russian mercenaries as the M23’s ambition of ousting him continues to become serious by each day.

Earlier last month, two Romanian “soldiers” died during clashes between the FARDC and the M23 in the province of North Kivu.

They had been working for a Romanian “private military company” headed by Horatiu Potra, a former member of the French Foreign Legion of Romanian origin.

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