Blinken Commends Rwanda Moves To De-escalate With DR Congo


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday praised Rwanda’s efforts to reduce tensions with the Democratic Republic of Congo even as a new border clash highlighted the troubled ties.

Meeting Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Blinken promised US support for regional diplomacy to end violence in eastern DRC.

But as Blinken spoke, Rwanda’s military said it had shot dead a Congolese "soldier" and arrested two others after they crossed the border early Tuesday.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to support the efforts that are being made, including by Angola, by Kenya, to support a peaceful resolution to differences and avoiding conflict in the eastern DRC," Blinken told Kagame as they opened their meeting.

"We very much appreciate the work that’s been done, especially over the last couple of months, and your leadership in trying to find a positive, peaceful way forward," Blinken said.

The meeting is the latest sign of US hopes for managing the conflict by working with Kagame, who has faced US criticism in the past.

US intelligence chief Avril Haines said in November after a visit to both countries that Kagame and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi had agreed on steps to de-escalate.


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