Blinken Discusses Worsening Humanitarian Crisis With Rwanda, DRC Leaders
© AP Photo / Moses SawasawaResidents protest against the United Nations peacekeeping force (MONUSCO) deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Goma, Monday, July 25, 2022
© AP Photo / Moses Sawasawa
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed in separate telephone calls with the leaders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo the worsening humanitarian situation along the border between the two African countries, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.
Since 2022, the security situation in eastern DRC "has deteriorated dramatically", according to the UN. Different countries have expressed their concern regarding the issue, including th US.
"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke separately with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. With both presidents, the Secretary discussed the volatile situation and worsening humanitarian crisis along the border between Rwanda and the DRC," Miller said in a statement on Monday.
Blinken advocated for a diplomatic solution to the tensions between the two countries and urged each side to take measures to de-escalate the situation, including removing troops from the border, the statement said.
Beginning in 2022, Rwanda and the DRC have been involved in a series of border clashes caused by the resurgence of rebels from the March 23 (M23) movement with the support of the Rwandan army. The M23 movement, which is fighting for the interests of the Tutsi ethnic minority, suffered a heavy military defeat in November 2013 and was disbanded. In November 2021, the rebels took up arms again, accusing the authorities of the DRC of violating agreements that provided for the integration of disarmed M23 rebels into the army.
In July, the DRC accused the Rwandan army of an incursion near Goma, with at least one Rwandan soldier dead in the clash.