Kagame accuses DRC of Exploiting Violent

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi of exploiting a violent crisis in eastern Congo to delay elections.

In a state address, Kagame said “the whole world” blamed Rwanda for the crisis, but that it was Felix Tshisekedi who was seeking to profit from the violence ahead of the presidential election scheduled for 20 December 2023.

“This problem can be solved if a country that is heading for elections next year does not try to create the conditions for an emergency situation so that the elections do not take place,” Kagame said.

“If he is trying to find another way to postpone the next elections, then I would prefer that he uses other excuses, and not us,” Kagame added.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission said this month that continuing insecurity in parts of the country would pose a challenge to a “free, democratic, and transparent” vote.

Report says fighting in eastern DRC between government forces and rebels from the M23, a former Tutsi rebellion, has heightened tensions with neighbouring Rwanda, which the DRC accuses of encouraging the militia. Kigali denies any involvement.

Dialogues

Dialogues between the two countries in Angola last week led to a ceasefire that appears to have held for several days.

However, another round of talks with armed groups continued in Kenya on Wednesday, without the presence of the M23.

Uhuru Kenyatta, the former Kenyan president overseeing the talks, said foreign rebel groups operating on Congolese soil “should leave” or face DRC and East African troops. “They have already been warned: the DRC will not be a fighting centre for other countries,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.

 

AFRICANEWS/CO

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