Great Lakes Region – Joint Statement by France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (18 Nov 2022)

The United States, along with the Great Lakes Special Envoys of Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, strongly condemns the continued advance of the UN-sanctioned March 23 Movement (M23) illegal armed group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The resumption of violence since 20 October, including in and around the towns of Rutshuru, Kiwanja, Rumangabo and Kibumba, is undermining peace efforts and has caused further insecurity and significant human suffering. We call on M23 to immediately withdraw, end any actions that violate international law, and to cease hostilities.

We reiterate our support for regional diplomatic efforts, including the Nairobi and Luanda processes, that promote de-escalation and create the conditions for lasting peace in the DRC. We call for renewed dialogue through these mechanisms and for Congolese non-state armed groups to participate in the Nairobi process. All support to non-state armed actors must stop, including external support to M23. We call on the countries of the region to use all means at their disposal to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the immediate resumption of consultations on concrete steps to de-escalate current tensions.

We reaffirm our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the Great Lakes Region.


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