U.S. Condemns Rwandan Support for M23 Armed Group in Eastern Congo Conflict

WASHINGTON D.C. – The United States government has issued a stern condemnation of the Rwandan government’s support for the M23 armed group, currently engaging in violent attacks in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The U.S. Department of State spokesperson, Matthew Miller, highlighted the current situation in a press release titled “Escalation of Hostilities in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” underscoring the violations committed by the M23 armed group, which is supported by Rwanda and subject to sanctions imposed by both the U.S. and the U.N.

The statement emphasized that the M23 armed group’s incursion into the town of Sake in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted in severe human rights abuses, including displacement, deprivation, and attacks on civilians. The United States government urged Rwanda to immediately withdraw all Rwanda Defense Force personnel from the Democratic Republic of Congo and dismantle its surface-to-air missile systems.

Furthermore, the U.S. government called on the M23 armed group to cease hostilities and retreat from its current positions surrounding Sake and Goma. It stressed the importance of respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as holding all individuals accountable for human rights violations in the conflict. Additionally, the United States urged the DRC government to discontinue cooperation with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which is labeled as a “negative force” and endangers civilian populations.

The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen over 100 rebel factions engaged in violent conflicts over the past three decades, particularly along the border with Rwanda. The ongoing conflict in the border towns of Sake and Goma involves the M23 movement, allegedly supported by Rwanda, conducting attacks on civilians and exchanging mortar fire with the DRC army. The M23 insurgency claims to defend the rights of the Congolese Tutsi community, but the abundant mineral resources in the region serve as a significant incentive.

Social media platforms have been flooded with images depicting the severity of the hostilities in eastern DRC, prompting a mass exodus of civilians fleeing for safety. The U.S. government continues to support diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict and create conditions for lasting peace in the region.