Addressing Rising Tensions Between the DRC and Rwanda
Tensions between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda are on the rise once more, as the security environment in eastern DRC further deteriorates due to intensified fighting in recent weeks between the Congolese military and the resurgent M23 rebels. Kinshasa accuses Kigali of backing the M23 rebels, while Kigali accuses Kinshasa of supporting the Front Démocratique de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan rebel group, which Kigali alleges abducted two Rwandan soldiers. Additionally, the Rwandan military has accused the DRC military of shelling civilians in a bordering Rwandan province.
Tensions were already high last year, due to strengthening ties between the DRC and Uganda and Burundi, as both countries launched separate military operations in the DRC. This has raised fears in Kigali that their strategic influence in the DRC is waning.
As the two governments continue to trade blame, their historically strained diplomatic relationship is under immense pressure. President Tshisekedi has suspended RwandAir flights into DRC, and President Kagame has threatened to deploy troops in eastern DRC. In the midst of this dispute, more than a dozen civilians in the DRC have been killed by rebels and in eastern DRC tens of thousands have been displaced in recent days due to intense fighting.
Please join the Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, senior fellow and director of the CSIS Africa Program for a conversation with Jason Stearns, founder of the Congo Research Group, that unpacks the historically fraught diplomatic relationship between the DRC and Rwanda, explores the current security environment in eastern DRC, discuss the current tensions between the two states, and identify diplomatic resolutions to this dispute.
This event was made possible through general support to the Africa Program.