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DR Congo: Foreign Ministers agree on accelerating Luanda roadmap

Foreign Affairs ministers of DR Congo, Angola and Rwanda agreed to accelerate efforts towards implementing the ‘roadmap on the pacification process in the eastern region of DR Congo’ that was agreed on by the Presidents of Angola, DR Congo, and Rwanda in July.

Tensions in DR Congo escalated on October 20, following breakout fights between the DR Congo army FARDC and the M23 rebels. Rwanda accuses DR Congo of embedding the genocidal group, FDLR into its national army and shelling on Rwandan territory. DR Congo also accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 – an accusation that Kigali vehemently denied.

DR Congo consequently expelled Rwanda’s Ambassador – a decision Rwanda described as ‘regrettable’.

In a joint statement issued after their meeting in Angola, the ministers, Christophe Lutundula of DR Congo, Téte António of Angola and Vincent Biruta of Rwanda agreed to continue talking “as a priority way of resolving the political crisis between the two brotherly countries” and to define “a timetable for accelerating” the de-escalation roadmap signed in July.

According to the roadmap, the two countries agreed to normalise the political and diplomatic relations and establish a climate of trust between the states of the region and create optimal conditions for dialogue and political consultation to resolve the current security crisis in eastern DR Congo.

The roadmap also instructs an immediate defeat of the “FDLR and its splinter groups (CNRD, FLN, RUD-Urunana, and FPPH-Abajyarugamba) which are at the origin of tensions between Rwanda and DRC and play a major role in the insecurity of DR Congo.”

There was also an agreement to strongly fight hate speech in DR Congo, which has increased in the recent past targeting Rwanda.

Despite the July agreement to the roadmap, tensions have since escalated and DR Congo even expelled Rwanda’s Ambassador – a decision Kigali described as ‘regrettable’

The roadmap for ending hostilities was reached at an Angola-brokered summit between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi.

The roadmap also committed to reactivating the Joint Intelligence Team Rwanda-DR Congo and agreeing on the practical modalities to fight the FDLR in coordination with regional mechanisms and blocs.

Part of the regional agreement is the Nairobi process that established inter-Congolese peace dialogue and the East African Force under which Kenya has already deployed its contingent to DR Congo.

Source: The New Times