DR Congo Prime Minister Resigns Amidst Escalating Tensions

DR Congo Prime Minister Resigns Amidst Escalating Tensions

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, the prime minister of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), resigned on Tuesday, triggering the dissolution of his government, the presidency said in a statement.

Lukonde tendered his resignation to President Felix Tshisekedi eight days after the validation of his mandate as a national deputy. He will now join parliament as a member of the assembly.

The resignation comes after France said earlier in the day it was “very concerned” about the situation in the eastern part of DRC and called on Rwanda to cease its support for the M23 rebel group, which has recently stepped up its offensive.

Violent clashes between DRC’s army and M23 Tutsi-led rebels have killed scores of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.


The fighting, in a war that has lasted decades, has increased the risk of an all-out conflict between DRC and Rwanda that could suck in neighbors and regional forces including South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.

Recently in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, and in the North Kivu provincial capital, Goma, Congolese have taken to the streets to protest against deteriorating security in the east and have accused the international community of not doing enough to hold Rwanda to account for its support for the rebels.

Rwanda denies backing the M23 although the United States, DRC, and a United Nations group of experts have said that it funds and fights alongside the group.

“France condemns the continuation of the M23 offensives with the support of Rwanda, and the presence of Rwandan forces on Congolese territory,” France said in a government statement, adding to growing international pressure on Rwanda.

“We call on Rwanda to cease all support for the M23 and to withdraw from Congolese territory,” it said, reiterating its support for a regional mediation process to put an end to the conflict.

Lukonde, 46 was appointed prime minister of the mineral-rich central African country in February 2021.

After Tshisekedi was re-elected in December, he named a representative to identify a majority coalition within the National Assembly in view of forming his next government.

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