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France urges Rwanda to end support for M23 rebels, pull troops out of DR Congo

France urges Rwanda to end support for M23 rebels, pull troops out of DR Congo



France on Tuesday called on Rwanda to end “all support” for M23 rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to pull its troops out of the country.

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“We call on Rwanda to cease all support to the M23 and to withdraw from Congolese territory,” the foreign ministry said. “M23 must cease fighting immediately and withdraw from all areas it occupies.”

DRC, the United Nations and Western countries say Rwanda is supporting the rebels in the east of the country in a bid to control vast mineral resources, but the Rwandan government denies the allegations.

Later Tuesday, the United States also warned Rwanda and the DRC at the UN that they “must walk back from the brink of war”.

Fighting between the mostly Tutsi M23 rebellion and Congolese government forces has flared in recent days around the town of Sake, 20km from Goma in North Kivu province.

After years of dormancy, the M23 (March 23 Movement) took up arms again in late 2021 and has since seized vast swaths of Nord Kivu province.

Militias have plagued eastern DRC for decades, a legacy of regional wars fought in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)



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