Angolan President Joao Lourenco held a three-hour private meeting in Luanda on Saturday with his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart, Felix Tshisekedi.
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The talks came a day after the Angolan parliament approved a year-long deployment of up to 500 soldiers to the troubled eastern DRC. But Luanda said the contingent would only be moved when it was certain that the right conditions existed in the cantonment areas.
The troops will help to maintain peace in areas held by the M23 rebel group. The militia resumed fighting at the end of 2021 and have conquered large swathes of territory in the DRC’s North Kivu province.
Angola’s president played a key mediation role in trying to end the conflict, but the latest ceasefire he negotiated collapsed earlier this month on the same day it was due to take effect.
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“It is still a concern of the DRC government that we need to see an engagement of all parties, on the part of the government of the DRC, on the part of Rwanda, and also on the part of M23 in terms of compliance with the cessation of hostilities,” said Furtado.
The DRC has accused Rwanda of backing the mostly Congolese Tutsi group, a charge that Kigali denies.