Felix Tshisekedi does not intend to sit idly by. While an open crisis opposes him to his Rwandan neighbor, whom he accuses of supporting the rebels of the M23 in the East, the Congolese head of state activates to obtain the support of the American Congress and the Biden administration. His goal ? Push the United States to recognize the M23 as a terrorist group, obtain the opening of an investigation into the supposed role of Rwanda and press for Washington to strengthen its diplomatic action in them Big lakes. The three-pronged strategy is simple. Whether it will be effective remains to be seen.
Read also : DRC seeks US help with Rwanda and the M23 rebels
In fact, on the ground, the situation has become considerably tense. The town of Bunagana, in North Kivu, has been under rebel control since mid-June. A Congolese soldier was killed after entering Rwanda and opening fire on Rwandan soldiers. The DRC summoned the Rwandan ambassador stationed in Kinshasa and suspended RwandAir flights from and to its territory, multiplying public accusations. For its part, Kigali has repeatedly denied providing any support to the M23 and criticizes its neighbor for its presumed support for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Lobbyists to the rescue
In Washington, the speech is for the moment very measured. The United States has expressed concern about possible involvement from Rwanda, but they took no punitive action. “We are deeply concerned by reports of cross-border violence between the DRC and Rwanda, and the growing tensions between these two countries,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department, during the meeting. a press briefing. And we are very concerned about reports that Rwandan soldiers are taking part in these fights. »
The Congolese government, which has been offering the services of influential lobbying firms since March, including Ballard Partners ($75,000 per month) and Scribe Strategies and Advisors ($50,000 per month), is stepping up its efforts to attract attention American elected officials, whether they sit in the House of Representatives or au Senate.
DRC: regional force, M23… Behind the scenes of the tense camera in Nairobi