AU chief urges ‘calm and dialogue’ between Rwanda, DRC

Senegalese president Macky Sall makes a statement after visiting Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh public hospital, where 11 newborns died in a fire on May 27, 2022 in the western town of Tivaouane.
(SEYLLOU / AFP)

DAKAR – The chairperson of the African Union (AU) has called for "calm and dialogue" between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), expressing serious concern over the rising tension between the two neighbors.

"I call for calm and dialogue between the two countries, and for the peaceful resolution of the crisis with the support of regional mechanisms and the African Union," Senegalese President and current AU chief Macky Sall said on social media.

Over the past few days, fighting has raged between the DRC army and M23 rebels in North Kivu, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes

"I am seriously concerned by the rising tension between Rwanda and the DRC," Sall said on Twitter.

The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting March 23 Movement (M23) rebels in North Kivu, a province in eastern DRC, an accusation denied by Kigali. Over the past few days, fighting has raged between the DRC army and M23 rebels in North Kivu, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

On Saturday, the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) called for the release of two Rwandan soldiers being held by FDLR rebels in the DRC.

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In a statement, the RDF said the two soldiers were kidnapped while on patrol and accused DRC armed forces, together with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), of launching an attack along the border.