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U.S. Denounces Rising Conflict in Eastern Congo, Calls for Peaceful Resolution

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Johnathan Morris

Feb 18, 2024

America Urges Ceasefire and Diplomatic Efforts to Restore Stability in the DRC

Matthew Miller, U.S. Department of State spokesperson, calling for an end to violence in eastern DRC and withdrawal of M23 and Rwandan forces.
Matthew Miller, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson, condemns the violence in eastern DRC, urging an immediate M23 and Rwandan withdrawal

February 17, 2024 – The United States has issued a strong condemnation of the escalating violence in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), attributing the recent surge in hostilities to the M23 armed group, which is reportedly backed by Rwanda and sanctioned by both the U.S. and the United Nations.

In a press statement released by Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, the U.S. expressed grave concerns over the M23's recent incursions into the town of Sake, highlighting the heightened risk this poses to millions already suffering from human rights abuses, including displacement, deprivation, and direct attacks.

The statement called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by M23, urging the group to withdraw from strategic positions around Sake and Goma in line with the Luanda and Nairobi peace processes. Furthermore, the U.S. explicitly condemned Rwanda's support for M23, demanding the withdrawal of Rwanda Defense Force personnel from the DRC and the dismantling of surface-to-air missile systems that pose a significant threat to civilians, UN peacekeepers, humanitarian actors, and commercial aviation in the region.

Emphasizing the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity, the U.S. appealed to all states to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses in the conflict. The call extends to the DRC government, which is urged to halt cooperation with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), labeled a "negative force" by regional bodies and the DRC government itself, due to the risks it poses to civilians.

The United States reaffirmed its support for regional diplomatic initiatives aimed at de-escalating the situation and establishing conditions for a lasting peace in the DRC. The statement concluded with a call to all parties involved to engage constructively in negotiations to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

As the international community watches closely, the situation in eastern DRC remains precarious, with the potential for further escalation posing a significant challenge to regional stability and peace.

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