Congo-Rwanda Tensions Flare at the East African Community Summit 

Congo-Rwanda Tensions Flare at the East African Community Summit 
Members of the East African Community Regional Force, left, watch M23 rebels withdrawing from their positions in the town of Kibumba, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 23, 2022 (AP photo by Moses Sawasawa).

East African leaders held a summit last weekend in Bujumbura, Burundi, where they discussed efforts to contain the escalating conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Hosted by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who currently serves as the rotating chairperson of the East African Community, the bloc’s leaders also explored potential ways to defuse tensions between Congo and neighboring Rwanda, which have flared due to the resumption of violence in Congo’s restive eastern region.The summit demonstrated the bloc’s potential as a regional mediator, but also its limitations in the face of regional challenges.

After the summit, the EAC’s leaders released a communique calling for “an immediate ceasefire by all parties” and the withdrawal from eastern Congo of “all foreign groups.” In addition, they directed the defense chiefs of the bloc’s seven members to set new timelines for the withdrawal of rebel forces, while reiterating previous calls for all parties “to de-escalate tensions and to use established regional, continental and international mechanisms to resolve any disputes.”

The gathering also marked the first meeting in several months between Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame. The two leaders were originally scheduled to meet last month in Doha at a peace summit mediated by Qatar, but that meeting was postponed after Tshisekedi reportedly backed out.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review