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Lourenco in Kigali Promoting DRC Peace


FILE: Angola President João Lourenço gives his speech during his inauguration. Sept 15, Luanda, Angola

Angolan President Joao Lourenco visited Rwanda on Friday as part of diplomatic efforts to resolve a row between Kigali and Kinshasa over the resurgent fighting in eastern DRC.

Lourenco came to hold talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame "as part of the regional efforts to normalize relations between Rwanda and DR Congo", the ruling party newspaper The New Times said.

The meeting comes on the heels of talks between the countries' foreign ministers who agreed on Saturday to accelerate efforts to resolve the crisis.

Tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa are at their highest in years, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbour of backing the M23, charges the Rwandan government denies.

The DRC expelled Rwanda's ambassador at the end of last month, while also recalling its envoy from Kigali.

Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to contain dozens of armed militias including the M23 rebel group whose recent advances in the volatile east have revived old animosities in central Africa.

Tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa are at their highest in years, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbor of backing the M23, charges the Rwandan government denies.

The DRC expelled Rwanda's ambassador at the end of last month, while also recalling its envoy from Kigali.

The March 23 Movement (M23) is a mainly Tutsi Congolese militia which rose to prominence in 2012.

After laying mostly dormant for years, it resumed fighting in 2021, claiming the DRC had failed to honor a pledge to integrate them into the army, among other grievances.

The meeting comes on the heels of talks between the countries' foreign ministers who agreed on Saturday to accelerate efforts to resolve the crisis.

A roadmap for ending hostilities had been reached at an Angola-brokered summit between Kagame and his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi in July.

On Wednesday, Kenya's parliament approved the deployment of more than 900 troops to the DRC as part of a regional force established to try to restore security in the east.

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