The president of the republic, João Lourenço, is meeting today with his counterparts from Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, to outline the Peace Plan in the DRC and the restoration of good relations between the two countries because of a military conflict in the Great Lakes region.
It was in the capacity of Champion of Peace and Reconciliation of the African Union (AU) and acting President of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (IRGL), that the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, invited the Heads of State Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Félxi Tshisekedi of the DRC, Évatiste Ndayishimiye of Burundi and the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Keniatta, for a meeting taking place in Luanda, to resolve, through dialogue, the conflict in the DRC and the re-establishment of good relations between the two countries.
At today’s meeting, the Heads of State plus the former President of Kenya will assess the DRC dossier, whose latest events have led to the worsening of the situation in the East of that country and which motivated the expulsion of the Rwanda ambassador from Kinshasa.
Tension between DRC and Rwanda
The climate of tension between the DRC and Rwanda has re-emerged in the relationship between the two countries in recent months, after the resumption, last March, of fighting between the DRC army and the rebel group March 23 Movement, more known as M23. The two countries accuse each other of supporting a military insurgency to destabilize each other, with Kinshasa denouncing Kigali’s alleged military support for the M23, an accusation denied by Rwanda. The level of tension between the two countries rose even more, after the expulsion of the ambassador of Rwanda from the DRC.
On July 6, 2022, the Tripartite Summit between the Republic of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Rwanda, held in Luanda, adopted the Roadmap of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region on the Pacification Process of the Region East of the DRC. The document became known as the Luanda Roadmap for Peace in the East of the DRC. Here are some points contained in the document signed by the Presidents of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, and of Angola, João Lourenço, in his capacity as also president of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region and representative of the African Union :
- Building a climate of trust between the States of the Great Lakes Region
- Creation of ideal conditions for dialogue and political concertation, with a view to resolving the security crisis in the east of the DRC.
- Normalization of political and diplomatic relations between the DRC and Rwanda,
- Immediate cessation of hostilities.
- Creation of an Ad-Hoc Observation Mechanism, led by an Angolan general to monitor compliance with agreements
- Immediate withdrawal from positions occupied by the M23 in Congolese territory, in accordance with the final communiqué from Nairobi.
- Creating conditions for the return of refugees,
- Reactivation of the joint intelligence team to define the practical modalities and the program to fight the FDRL, in coordination with the presidency of the CIRGL and the Nairobi Process.
- Creation of regional mechanisms to fight against the illicit exploitation of natural resources in the region, with emphasis on the territory of the DRC.