By Spy Uganda Correspondent
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for an urgent diplomatic solution over the Democratic Republic of Congo’s rising tensions with Rwanda, during his meeting with Kinshasa’s top diplomat.
Receiving Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula at the State Department, Blinken said the United States wanted to support “peace and security and stability in the eastern DRC, which is under some challenge.”
“We want to be very supportive of important African efforts that are ongoing,” he said.
Blinken praised talks earlier this year in Kenya’s capital Nairobi between the DR Congo’s government and several rebel groups.
Angolan President Joao Lourenco has also mediated and said Tuesday that Kinshasa has agreed to release two Rwandan soldiers whose detention had inflamed tensions.
Relations have been strained since the mass arrival in the eastern DRC of Rwandan Hutus accused of slaughtering Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.
Friction spiked last week with both sides trading accusations of aiding armed militias.
Lutundula, who thanked the Biden administration for its efforts, a day earlier attended a UN Security Council briefing where the United States urged attention to protect civilians.
“We urge the governments of the DRC and Rwanda to engage in dialogue to reduce tension and pursue a diplomatic resolution,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in two DRC cities, including in front of the Rwandan embassy in Kinshasa, to denounce Kigali’s alleged meddling.