Free Video Downloader

Central Africa: U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Visits DRC, Rwanda Amid Tensions Over M23 Rebels

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the second leg of his three-nation African tour that began in South Africa at the weekend, and is due to wrap in Rwanda this Wednesday.

Blinken’s visit to the DRC comes as Congolese President FĂ©lix Tshisekedi hopes to set the agenda by highlighting recent tensions between Kinshasa and Kigali.

The DRC is currently experiencing a resurgence of hostility with Rwanda, that Kinshasa accuses of supporting the M23 rebel group which has been behind a spike in violence in the eastern Kivu provinces.

Kigali denies backing the mainly Tutsi militia.

After his visit to South Africa which began on Sunday, the US chief diplomat will reportedly be received in the early evening by Tshisekedi who – according to the Congolese presidency – “will not fail to discuss issues of strategic partnership between the DRC and the USA.”

“The latest UN experts’ report on the invasion of Rwandan troops transformed into the M23 will not fail to be addressed,” it added.

Speaking to RFI in Pretoria, Blinken underlined that “there are deep concerns about the violence that we’ve seen … [and] the potential for that getting worse and spreading in eastern Congo.

“There’s a shared determination to see if through our own diplomacy in coordination with other partners, we can help reduce the tension, reduce the violence and help put these countries on a path to both resolving their differences” Blinken added.

He also said that the USA is looking at what steps can be taken to address the well being of the people who live in the eastern DRC, stating that he would “have a lot more to say about this in the in the next couple of days.’