Suing for peace

The United States has welcomed engagement between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in an effort to resolve the conflict between both countries.

 What’s the issue between Rwanda and DRC? 

Relations between the DRC and Rwanda became strained over allegations of support for rebel groups opposed to each other. Concluding his Africa tour of three countries – DRC, Rwanda, and South Africa – in Kigali on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame to discuss efforts to end tensions between Rwanda and Congo. Having met the Congolese President, Felix Tshisekedi, earlier, Blinken said “both presidents have agreed to engage in direct talks with each other”, adding that his discussion with Kagame included the “wrongful detention of Paul Rusesabagina”. 

Who is Rusesabagina? 

Paul Rusesabagina was the manager of a hotel in Kigali during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and is said to have helped shelter Hutu and Tutsi refugees there during the carnage. Accused and tried for supporting the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of opposition political platform Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), after the group claimed responsibility for attacks in 2018 and 2019 in which nine Rwandans died, Rusesabagina was convicted last year on charges of “terrorism”. The 25-year sentence of the  “Hotel Rwanda” hero was upheld in April by Rwanda’s Court of Appeal, which rejected a prosecution appeal to increase the penalty to life.

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