The United States calls on Rwanda to “stop” all support for the M23 rebels in the DRC

AA / Kinshasa / Pascal Mulegwa

The United States called, during a dinner debate at the Security Council, the government of Rwanda to stop supporting the rebels of the M23 who seized several localities in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We call on state actors to end their support for armed groups including the Rwanda Defense Forces and the M23 rebels,” said US Representative to the UN Robert Wood.

He claimed that “attacks by armed groups in the DRC, CODECO and M23 have killed more than 2,000 civilians this year”.

” This is unacceptable. The United States calls on armed groups to cease their assaults on the most vulnerable people in the DRC,” he added.

The Representative of the DRC, for his part, pleaded for “sanctions” against Rwanda. That of France considered that the dialogue “must be maintained between the States of the region”.

The UK opposed the escalation. His ambassador remained adamant. “Military action alone cannot bring peace to the Great Lakes region. All parties must respect national sovereignty and the principle of territorial integrity,” he said.

For him, “diplomatic and political efforts must precede and impose themselves vis-à-vis a military solution to regional problems”.

Norway noted with “concern” the increase in tension between the DRC and Rwanda. The two countries were called upon to “open a dialogue”. Gabon, Ghana and Kenya denounced the “escalation” between the army and the M23.

For Russia, “we will not be able to achieve the long-term normalization of the situation in the DRC only by military means. We need dialogue, we need effective confidence-building measures”.

M23 rebels resumed hostilities late last year, blaming Congolese authorities for failing to honor peace accords struck in 2013 after the rebels were defeated in fighting won by Congolese troops backed by peacekeepers.

Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23. For its part, Rwanda accuses the Congolese army of supporting Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern Congo.

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