Diplomatic meetings multiply around the crisis in eastern DRC

Visit of a UN Security Council delegation to Bushagara, near Goma, North Kivu province, March 12, 2023. REUTERS - ARLETTE BASHIZI

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After the UN Security Council, a delegation from the African Union's Peace and Security Council visited the eastern DRC, which is still plagued by violence. The objective: to observe the implementation on the ground of the crisis exit plan imagined at the last AU summit. A plan undermined since the ceasefire that was to come into force on March 7 was not respected.


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Diplomatic missions follow one another in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After the United Nations Security Council, a delegation from the Peace and Security Council of the African Union visited eastern DRC, which is plagued by major violence linked in particular to the conflict against the M23 rebels, but also Kinshasa, the capital, on 22 March. She met with the military authorities, representatives of MONUSCO, the UN mission, and the East African force, before holding talks with President Tshisekedi.

While the delegation of the AU Peace and Security Council was able to note in Goma that the fighting had decreased in intensity in recent days, they were also able to realize that the implementation of the latest plan of the East African region concerning the conflict with the M23 was indeed compromised. Indeed, by 30 March, that is to say in less than a week, the rebels must have withdrawn from all the localities conquered in recent months and have retreated to several cantonment sites under the observation of East African Community (EAC) troops.

Meeting in Bujumbura

But on the ground, this next deadline seems difficult to keep. Although the East African force has announced in recent hours that it has recovered positions around Sake and on the road leading to Kitchanga, the rebels still control part of North Kivu. According to humanitarian and security sources contacted in the region, they remain visible in the territory of Rutshuru as well as in the neighboring Masisi territory. Sources that testify to the presence of the M23 also in areas where they are supposed to have already retreated.

This situation is, in any case, being carefully examined this weekend in Bujumbura. Indeed, the Chiefs of Staff of the EAC countries are currently meeting in Burundi to take stock of this crisis. At the same time, General Kaputa, deputy force commander, has just announced the arrival and deployment of Ugandan troops in Rutshuru before the end of March.

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Read on on the same topics:

  • DRC
  • African Union
  • M23
  • Diplomacy
  • UN