The DRC welcomes the French position on the M23, but calls for sanctions against Rwanda

The DRC welcomes the French position on the M23 but

Tuesday February 20, France called “ Rwanda to cease all support for the M23 » active in the east of the DRC, but above all Paris asked Kigali to “ withdraw from Congolese territory “. First time that France has mentioned the presence of Rwandan soldiers in eastern DRC. For the Congolese authorities, we must go further.

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On the side of the Congolese presidency, we welcome the evolution of French semantics which now evokes the presence of Rwandan soldiers on Congolese soil. But simple declarations are no longer enough, as Giscard Kusema, head of presidential communications, explains: “ We believe that Rwanda is waging a predatory war. We need economic sanctions, as we do for any state that is going to attack another. The DRC cannot explain that there are contracts which continue to be signed between Western powers and Rwanda for minerals which they do not have on its soil. We find this attitude suspicious and it is a guilty silence on the part of all the other States which do not comment on this question. »

French diplomacy assures that there is no taboo around the question of sanctions against Rwanda, but these are not on the program, for Christophe Lemoine, spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “ The question of sanctions is not raised at the moment. Once again, the framework for discussions is the framework of the Luanda process and there are no sanctions that have been mentioned. Sanctions are used in international relations when there really is a serious escalation and we want to send a strong message. For the moment, this is not a subject that is on the table. »

Currently, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States sanctioned several officials M23, FDLR and other armed groups operating in the DRC.

In North Kivu, the front line is approaching the camps for displaced people

In eastern DRC, fighting in Saké has pushed at least 135,000 people onto the roads since the beginning of February, according to the UN. The new round of clashes between the M23 rebels, supported by Rwanda and the Congolese army, allied with Wazalendo militias, is extremely violent. The displaced therefore arrived en masse at the gates of Goma, already overpopulated by other families who fled the war which has lasted since the end of 2021. New sites are being created including that of Lac Vert. An exposed site since it is located near the front line and a military camp.

With our special correspondent in Goma, Coralie Pierret

Almost daily, salvos are launched from the Congolese army camp