What You Need to Know:
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Rwanda and Congo to de-escalate tensions and withdraw troops from their border. This comes after heightened fighting displaced nearly 7 million people.
Blinken personally spoke with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame about the “volatile situation and worsening humanitarian crisis along the border,” according to the State Department.
He emphasized the need for a diplomatic solution.
Conflict between M23 rebels and militias loyal to the Congolese army has surged in the eastern Congo provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu, and Tanganyika.
The Congolese government has consistently accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels who have seized control of swathes of territory in eastern Congo. U.N. experts have provided strong evidence of Rwanda’s army fighting alongside the rebel group. Rwanda, however, denies these claims and accuses Congo’s army of shelling villages in Rwandan territory along the border.