December 15, 2023
Cited article by Reuters
HRRC underscores the urgent need for immediate international intervention in response to the escalating crisis in Congo. We call for swift and decisive measures to protect the well-being of civilians on all sides, emphasizing the profound repercussions of inaction for the entire region. HRRC urges the international community to prioritize diplomatic efforts and humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering and promote lasting peace in Congo.
The parties involved in a ceasefire in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to a two-week extension, according to an anonymous senior U.S. official. While the specifics of the extension have not been independently verified, it is reported to come ahead of the general elections scheduled for December 20. The White House had previously declared a 72-hour ceasefire, which expired and was "broadly" adhered to. The new two-week extension, facilitated with U.S. involvement, is expected to cover similar areas and parties. The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the rebel group M23, a claim Rwanda denies. The ongoing conflict in eastern DRC is a significant concern leading up to the elections, adding to other issues like the economy, corruption, and mining.
Despite the challenges posed by active conflict, the U.S. official expressed the belief that having elections during such conditions is not in anyone's interest. Nevertheless, the United States expects the elections to proceed as planned next week. The conflict in the eastern DRC has led to thousands of casualties and displaced nearly 7 million people, contributing to one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, as described by the United Nations. The situation involves numerous armed groups, and the extension of the ceasefire is seen as a step toward mitigating violence in the region during this critical period.