Talks yield positive results as Angola brokers peace between Rwanda and DRC | News24

  • A ceasefire between Rwanda and the DRC was agreed on as both countries work to mend relations.
  • Talks will take place on 12 July to establish a Joint Permanent Commission, to plan ways to deal with rebel groups.
  • Angola urged both countries to re-establish trade and economic ties.

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) first step to mending fences will be through the “Luanda Mechanism” talks, which will get underway on 12 July.

This was revealed on Wednesday after Angola’s President João Lourenço managed to broker peace between the two neighbours in Luanda, Angola’s capital city.

The talks were on the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) security council’s radar.

On Monday, Bintou Keita, the head of the UN’s Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, told the UN security council the talks should aim to “mend tensions through dialogue”.

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After Wednesday’s talks, which brought together President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC, Lourenco was pleased to tell the media that they had, “positive results, in our view, in that we have agreed on a ceasefire, among other measures”.

During the 12 July meeting, Rwanda and the DRC are expected to establish a Joint Permanent Commission, which will share intelligence about rebel operations affecting both countries.

The major problem is instability in the eastern DRC, where M23 rebels have been fighting against government forces.

Allegations are that Rwanda has been aiding the rebels, a claim which Kagame denies. 

In Luanda, a roadmap for the “pacification process” of the eastern parts of the DRC was laid down. 

The first point was to “normalise political and diplomatic relations between the DRC and Rwanda”, the communique reads.

Ironing out those relations means that hostilities should end, which will result in the immediate withdrawal of M23 rebels in accordance with agreed terms from the Nairobi talks.

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, there was an influx of refugees into the DRC. Some are believed to be members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), seeking to destabilise Rwanda.

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It was agreed that FDLR should not be given a fighting chance and both countries should work to “create the necessary conditions for the return of refugees”.

The DRC is the latest member of the East African Community, but the diplomatic spat with Rwanda has clouded possible economic and regional integration benefits.

As such, Lourenco gave the two countries’ leaders a chance to re-establish economic ties.

“[Both countries to work on] promotion of economic partnership between the states of the region and strengthening of regional mechanisms to combat the illegal exploitation of natural resources,” reads the communique from the meeting.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.   

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