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DRC, Rwanda Foreign Ministers in Rwanda to ease tensions

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Foreign ministers from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda arrived at the Angolan presidency on Saturday for a fresh round of diplomatic talks amid rising tensions in eastern DRC.

Angolan President João Lourenço was appointed by the African Union as a mediator for the talks between DRC’s Christophe Lutundula and Vincent Biruta from Rwanda,

Tensions have been particularly high between Kinshasa and Kigali since the resurgence of the 23rd March Movement, known as M23 late last year.

The former Tutsi rebellion group took up arms accusing Kinshasa of failing to respect agreements on the demobilisation of its fighters.

Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of supporting this rebellion; a claim Kigali systematically denies.

But the eastern DRC region has been plagued for nearly three decades by violence from armed groups, many of them borne out of the wars that occurred there in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Efforts had already been made in Luanda to try and normalise relations between the two neighbours in July.

According to the UN, the fighting between the FARDC and the M23 has displaced some 50,000 people since 20 October, of whom 12,000 have taken refuge in Uganda.

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