France Says Rwanda Must ‘Cease All Support’ to M23 Rebels in DR Congo

France on Tuesday called on Rwanda to end “all support” for M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to pull its troops out of the country.

“We call on Rwanda to cease all support to the M23 and to withdraw from Congolese territory,” the foreign ministry said.

DRC, the United Nations, and Western countries say Rwanda is supporting the rebels in the east of the country in a bid to control vast mineral resources, but the Rwandan government denies the allegations.

Fighting between the mostly Tutsi M23 rebellion and Congolese government forces has flared in recent days around the town of Sake, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Goma in North Kivu province.

“M23 must cease fighting immediately and withdraw from all areas it occupies,” the foreign ministry added.

After years of dormancy, the M23 (March 23 Movement) took up arms again in late 2021 and has since seized vast swathes of Nord Kivu province.

Militias have plagued eastern DRC for decades, a legacy of regional wars fought in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

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