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WAR IN THE EAST: UK Calls On DR Congo & Rwanda to Cease External Military Support to Armed Groups

The United Kingdom (UK) has called on the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to immediately cease all external support to armed groups as the security situation in the Great Lakes region deteriorates.

The security situation between the DR Congo and Rwanda was at the centre of discussion at the United Nations Security Council held in New York, USA on Wednesday April 24, 2024.

During his speech at the Council, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN, James Kariuki urged Presidents Félix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame to engage in direct dialogue to put to an end the escalating conflict between the two states.

“The United Kingdom is concerned about the worsening tensions between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and between Rwanda and Burundi. We condemned the continued advance of UN-sanctioned M23 forces and called on all external actors to end their support for armed groups in the DRC.

We engaged with the authorities in Kigali and Kinshasa on the need for dialogue and urged them to exercise all their influence to ease tensions and seek a cessation of hostilities.

We also encourage both Presidents Paul Kagame and Félix Tshisekedi to engage directly to end the conflict,” said James Kariuki, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN.

The eastern region of the DR Congo remains an area plagued with insecurities due to the activism of armed groups for several decades.

Despite the military operations against these armed groups and the proclamation of a state of siege, the situation remains particularly worrying, especially with the resurgence of the M23 rebels allegedly supported by Rwanda in the province of North Kivu.

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