WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Rwanda on Thursday to use its power to stop rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo from moving further, but expressed cautious optimism for peace.
Blinken did not meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who suggested he would have preferred higher-level US discussions, but he did meet DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, who expressed concern over Rwanda.
Blinken downplayed the lack of communication with Kagame, noting that the two had just spoken on the phone, but he made it clear that the US was expecting Kigali to take action against the M23 rebels in the eastern DRC.
Blinken told reporters that if an agreement reached by Angola is carried out, “it gives tremendous potential for stopping the current fighting and perhaps leading to more sustainable stability in the eastern DRC.”
“We are looking to Rwanda to use its influence with M23 to support that because M23 has been generally drawing back,” Blinken said.