Luanda – Democratic Republic of Congo leader Felix Tshisekedi arrived in Angola Tuesday on the eve of talks with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame amid tensions between the two neighbours, his office said.
This will be the first time the two presidents meet face-to-face for several months.
The two “have not met bilaterally since the resurgence of violence in the east of the country,” said a statement from Tshisekedi’s office.
The DRC leader is participating in the meeting, which he wanted to be “truthful”.
Angola’s President Joao Lourenco, who is hosting the mini-summit, was appointed Africa Union mediator.
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Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23, a former Tutsi-dominated rebel group that was defeated in 2013 but took up arms again in November last year.
In recent months, the group has clashed with Congolese troops in fighting that has forced thousands of people to flee to neighbouring Uganda.
Rwanda has repeatedly denied backing the rebels, while both countries have accused each other of carrying out cross-border shelling.
Relations between Kinshasa and Kigali have been strained since the mass arrival in the DRC of Rwandan Hutus accused of slaughtering Tutsis during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
While ties had begun to improve after Tshisekedi took office in 2019, a recent flareup of violence in the east linked to the M23 militia has reignited tensions.
Tshisekedi was on Tuesday evening expected to hold pre-summit talks with Lourenco, the Angolan presidency said in a statement.
Last month, East African leaders agreed to set up a regional force to help end the violence in eastern DRC.
Picture: Twitter /@Mesuri5210