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Angolan president Joao Lorenco: “I don’t believe we will have a war between Rwanda and DR Congo”

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Angola’s president Joao Lorenco told FRANCE 24 that he did not think an all-out war between Rwanda and DRC was on the horizon. He said he was hopeful that his mediation efforts to restore peace in the DRC’s east would bear fruit. He explained that the M23 rebel group was upholding a ceasefire reached a few weeks ago and that the next step was for the group to be cantoned and disarmed.

Lorenco said Angola was ready to send 500 troops to the region to accomplish the task. He stressed that what was needed now was to speed up the process, indicating that the Congolese authorities still had to fully prepare for that stage. He said Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame had been helpful in putting Angolan officials in contact with the M23 leadership. As such, he said this showed Kagame was keen to help find a solution rather than fuelling violence, as per the claims of DRC authorities. 

He expressed deep concern about the escalating violence in Sudan, urging a ceasefire and an urgent search for a long-lasting solution. With regards to the war in Ukraine, he distanced himself from Brazilian president Lula da Silva, who has claimed Ukraine’s president is as responsible for the war in Ukraine as Russian president Vladimir Putin. He stressed that Angola is staunchly in favour of preserving the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine. He called on China and the US to join hands in finding a solution to this war, arguing that only the two superpowers working in tandem could achieve such an outcome.

With regards to former president Eduardo Dos Santos’s daughter Isabel Dos Santos, who is accused of embezzling public funds, he said she had nothing to fear if she has nothing to hide. He said a red notice for her arrest had been issued by Interpol, but refused to speculate on whether it would be implemented in the near future.

This story originally appeared on France24

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