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Escalation of Hostilities in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo


Escalation of Hostilities in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Escalation of Hostilities in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

The United States strongly condemns the worsening violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) caused by the actions of the Rwanda-backed, U.S.- and UN-sanctioned M23 armed group, including its recent incursions into the town of Sake.  This escalation has increased the risk to millions of people already exposed to human rights abuses including displacement, deprivation, and attacks.  We call on M23 to immediately cease hostilities and withdraw from its current positions around Sake and Goma, in accordance with the Luanda and Nairobi processes.  The United States condemns Rwanda’s support for the M23 armed group and calls on Rwanda to immediately withdraw all Rwanda Defense Force personnel from the DRC and remove its surface-to-air missile systems, which threaten the lives of civilians, UN and other regional peacekeepers, humanitarian actors, and commercial flights in eastern DRC.


It is essential that all states respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and hold accountable all actors for human rights abuses in the conflict in eastern DRC.  We call on the government of the DRC to continue to support confidence building measures, including ceasing cooperation with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group named as a “negative force” by regional bodies and the government of the DRC, and which exposes the civilian population to risk.  We continue to support regional diplomatic efforts that promote de-escalation and create the conditions for lasting peace in DRC and we call on all sides to participate constructively in reaching a negotiated solution.

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