DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi Agrees ‘in Principle’ to Meet Rwanda’s Paul Kagame

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

A meeting today between President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi and Angolan President João Lourenço in Luanda, reportedly made steps towards establishing a dialogue between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Tshisekedi. 

Tshisekedi and Kagame have been at loggerheads since a resurgence of M23 rebel activity in eastern DRC has resulted in the displacement of thousands and has threatened key cities such as Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province. 

Tshisekedi’s government has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the rebels, something the French Foreign Ministry and US department of State have also claimed. 

Last week, Rwanda’s Foreign Ministry released a statement claiming that Tshisekedi’s government is pursuing regime change in Kigali and thus Rwanda reserves the right to defend its borders, particularly its border with the DRC in North Kivu. 

“The Congolese political and military leadership, including President Felix Tshisekedi, has also repeatedly declared their intention to invade Rwanda and change its government by force,” the statement said. 

“Rwanda takes them (Congo) at their word, and has adjusted its posture accordingly. This includes measures to ensure complete air defense of Rwandan territory, and to degrade offensive air capabilities, following the introduction of advanced Chinese CH-4 attack drones by DRC in 2023, and repeated violations of Rwandan airspace by Congolese fighter jets.’’

Lourenço’s meeting with Tshisekedi produced the ‘Luanda Roadmap’ – an agreement on the pacification of the eastern DRC region after Lourenço was appointed as a mediator by the African Union. 

The details of the Roadmap have not yet been released.