Christophe Lutundula insists on the importance of international diplomacy in the DRC-Rwanda crisis

The Democratic Republic of Congo, faced with the activism of local and foreign armed groups in its eastern part, has seen the situation deteriorate since the resurgence of the M23 rebels supported by Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda. Despite the continuation of clashes on the ground, the government of the Republic seems to favor the diplomatic route as an option to restore peace and security in the east of the country.

Asked why the DRC has so much confidence in the diplomatic initiatives of the International Community, which sometimes on the ground does not apply coercive measures against Rwanda, the aggressor country, Christophe Lutundula, VPM, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Francophonie, said it was aware that the problem of the DRC would not always have external answers and is counting on the international community, especially since there is a neighboring state involved in the crisis in the east of the country. , namely Rwanda.

“President Félix Tshisekedi always has a phrase that I consider fundamental. He has always said, without naivety or weakness, what does that mean? We will not have solved our problem by relying only on external efforts. I I do not know a country that builds its security by relying only on external efforts, and I say that diplomacy is an action of support for a certain number of efforts, an action which tends to facilitate internal actions, particularly on the military plan, to achieve victory. Yes, we can have a diplomatic victory, we have it, but we have no illusions that it is enough”, noted Christophe Lutundula, head of Congolese diplomacy .

It’s up to him to continue:

“We are dealing with a third State, it is Rwanda. The presence of a third State in this crisis, especially since this third State is in fact the main author, inevitably brings us to the international public square which has its crisis management instruments, which has its mechanisms. Unfortunately, at this level, everything is very slow, the interplay of interests so complex that we cannot say by snapping our fingers the solution has been found, so we cannot “We cannot afford to ignore the International Community, it is isolating us, it is unrealistic. We are acting as if the International Community would play a decisive role. I would like things to be clear on this.”

Christophe Lutundula notes that diplomatic prowess also has an impact on the aggressor country. He says he understands the impatience of the Congolese and remains optimistic about the happy outcome of this war.

“It weakens those who are at war with us, and we cannot minimize that. Think back to what has happened over the last 20 years, have you ever seen President Kagame agitated like this? never existed. Do you really think that if there was nothing done by President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, we would have had these people in Kinshasa (editor’s note: visit of heads of state to Kinshasa) ? People forget that, if nothing had been done since we were here, these people would not have taken Goma? So I understand the bitterness, I understand the impatience but we don’t “You don’t win a conflict of this kind as if you snapped your finger and there was a magic that worked, you don’t win by ignoring the International Community, so we can’t confront each other and at the same time isolate ourselves.” indicated the Head of Congolese diplomacy.

Since 2021, several parts of the North Kivu province have been under the control of the M23 rebels supported by the Paul Kagame regime. They want a direct dialogue with Kinshasa, a plan that the Tshisekedi administration rejects, wanting to dialogue directly with Kagame whom it considers to be the godfather of the M23.

It is in this context that João Lourenço received his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, who agreed to meet the President of the DRC, Félix Tshisekedi, on a date and place to be specified. Paul Kagame’s trip to Luanda came after that made by his Congolese counterpart, who also met President João Lourenço. At the end of this meeting, it was announced that Tshisekedi had agreed to meet Paul Kagame to discuss the diplomatic crisis between the two neighboring countries and the rebellion in the DRC.

This article is originally published on actualite.cd

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