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WAR IN THE EAST: Tshisekedi Demands Direct Talks With Rwanda, Rejects Dialogue With M23

Democratic Republic of Congo President Fèlix Tshisekedi has expressed his willingness to engage in talks not with Rwanda m rather than with the M23 rebels as he considers as the neighbouring nation as the main aggressor in the ongoing war in the eastern region.

While tensions between the DRC and Rwanda persist, calls for dialogue between the conflicting parties are increasing at the continental and international level.

During a press briefing on Thursday February 22, 2024, Tshisekedi refuted the theory by Rwanda that its presence in the DRC was with the aim to combat the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) with the Congolese leadsr asserting that this position is unfounded.

Tshisekedi accused Rwanda of continously supported the activities of the M23 even with the DRC’s efforts to repatriate FDLR elements.

“In 2019, at the initiative of the late General Delphin Kahimbi, I validated the return, under the aegis of the United Nations, of two columns of FDLR elements with their dependents to Rwanda. Despite this, Rwanda continues to support the M23. This is why I refuse to dialogue with the M23. Discussions, I only want them with Rwanda, because he is my aggressor,” Tshisekedi declared.

Tshisekedi demanded explanations from his Rwandan counterpart President Paul Kagame on the continued massacring of the Congolese population in the east as well as Rwanda’s alleged desire to plunder the mining and agricultural resources of the DRC.

“This is why I do not want negotiations with this empty shell called the M23. The case of Angola, which requested authorization to enter into contact with the M23, proves that they are puppets of Rwanda. History will judge those who dare to say that the M23 is Congolese,” he added.

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