May 25. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Secretary of the United States Department of State, Antony Blinken, has underlined before the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, the right of the Congolese people to protest peacefully to express their concerns and aspirations.
Blinken has also stressed the commitment of the United States to support free and fair elections in the DRC, after this weekend was marked by the disproportionate use of force in opposition protests.
He also made reference to the violence that is shaking the country, as well as the “serious humanitarian situation in the eastern DRC”, expressing “his deep concern for the dead, injured, displaced and vulnerable people as a result of the violence”.
In this sense, he has once again reiterated the need for “Rwanda to end its support for the M23 (rebel group), adding that “all state actors” must stop “collaborating with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda ( FDLR) and other state armed groups”.
Thus, both Blinken and Tshisekedi have spoken “of the importance and urgency for the M23 to withdraw and disarm”, while “all parties (must) fulfill their obligations under” the commitments.
The M23 is a rebel group made up mainly of Congolese Tutsis and which operates mainly in the North Kivu province, where it launched a new offensive in October 2022 that has caused a diplomatic crisis between the DRC and Rwanda due to their intervention in the conflict. For its part, Rwanda has accused the DRC of supporting the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel armed group founded and composed mainly of Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
For its part, also in the east of the country, the fearsome militias of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) operate in Ituri, loyal to the jihadist group Islamic State in Central Africa (ISCA) and accused by the United Nations of the murders of more than 1,200 civilians in 2021.