Congo, Rwanda leaders agree to direct talks to end regional tensions
Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have agreed to begin talks to ease the tensions between the two countries in eastern Congo, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday (11 August).
Speaking in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, Blinken said the presidents of Rwanda and DR of Congo, Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi, who have accused each other of supporting rebel groups in the chronically volatile region, have now agreed to open direct communications aimed at ending tensions. The US top diplomat also warned that supporting and cooperating with armed groups will endanger local communities and threaten central Africa’s stability. Blinken urged the two countries to be respectful of each other’s territory and said that both Kagame and Tshisekedi welcomed the US’ support and committed to begin processes toward achieving stability.
The Nairobi process was an initiative by the outgoing Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, that brought the heads of states of East African countries together to find lasting solutions to the tensions in eastern Congo.
In talks with Kagame, Blinken emphasized the US commitments to be equal partners with Rwanda in advancing shared priorities, tackling global challenges and bettering the condition of the country’s citizens. Rwanda was the last stop of Blinken’s African tour that also included South Africa and the DRC.