Daily Review: As Fighting Escalates, So Do Congo-Rwanda Tensions

Daily Review: As Fighting Escalates, So Do Congo-Rwanda Tensions
Congolese soldiers escorting a convoy of Kenyan troops deployed as part of the East African Community Regional Force, in Goma, in eastern Congo, Nov. 16, 2022 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

The U.N. Security Council yesterday sanctioned six people from five armed groups based in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. France called the emergency meeting of the council due to worsening violence in recent weeks, which has also caused tensions to escalate between Congo and Rwanda. The U.S. called on the two sides to “walk back from the brink of war” at the meeting. (AP & Reuters)

Our Take

Fighting due to armed insurgencies in eastern Congo stretches back decades and has had a transnational impact for nearly all of that time. But in recent years, there has been a notable escalation of both fighting and regional tensions, particularly since the reemergence in 2022 of the Rwanda-backed M23 rebel group, which had been dormant for nearly a decade.

That has culminated in recent weeks, which have seen an especially rapid upsurge in fighting between M23 and the Congolese army. M23 rebels have ramped up attacks on a key town near the provincial capital of Goma, where more than 1 million people have fled amid the violence in recent years. The fighting has rapidly worsened what was already one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with nearly 8 million people now displaced in the region.

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