Congo-Kinshasa: Secretary Blinken’s Call with President Tshisekedi
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on May 23 with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi. They discussed the ongoing violence and dire humanitarian situation in the eastern DRC. Secretary Blinken expressed his deep concern for those killed, injured, displaced, and left vulnerable by violence. He noted the United States’ calls for Rwanda to end its support for M23 and reiterated the need for all state actors to cease collaboration with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other non-state armed groups. Secretary Blinken and President Tshisekedi discussed the importance and urgency of M23 withdrawing and disarming per the Luanda Communique, and for all parties to implement their Luanda Communique obligations and commit to the Luanda and Nairobi Processes. The Secretary repeated his concern about hate speech and divisive rhetoric. He also underscored the right of the Congolese people to protest peacefully to voice their concerns and aspirations, and emphasized the United States’ commitment to supporting free and fair elections in the DRC.