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DRC leader calls for US pressure on Rwanda

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s President Felix Tshisekedi has asked United States (US) President Joe Biden to “put pressure on Rwanda to stop its support to the M23 rebels”.

The two presidents spoke at a bilateral meeting during the ongoing US-Africa summit in Washington.

The US has previously called on Rwanda to stop its support to the M23, while Kigali has continuously denied links with the rebels.

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Speaking at an African exchange forum on the sidelines of the summit, Rwanda’s President Kagame said “there isn’t anybody who is going to come from anywhere to bully us into something to do with our lives”.

In the US, the presidents of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Angola met to discuss the eastern DRC security situation, which Tshisekedi did not attend.

The presidents met “to review” the implementation of Luanda and Nairobi agreements, meetings that have taken resolutions on the conflict, the Rwandan presidency reports.

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It came as the M23 rebels held their first press conference in Bunagana town in eastern DRC which they have controlled since June

They denied killings in Kishishe and Bambo. The United Nations (UN) forces in DRC have said more than 130 people were killed by the rebels in the two areas on November 29 and 30.

In the Wednesday evening presser, the rebels criticised the UN forces’ statement as “lacking facts”.

The rebels presented “government army soldiers, and Rwandan FDLR rebels” who they said were captured on the battlefield.

The UN says that more than 400,000 people have fled their homes since fighting between M23 and the army resumed in March.

A relative calm has been observed since the end of last week.—BBC

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