The days of smiles and frank hugs seem a long way off. On July 6, in Luanda, Angola, Felix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame barely looked each other in the eye. Straight as stakes, faces closed, the two Heads of State were indeed obliged to lend themselves to the game of photo, but their attitude says a lot about the atmosphere that reigned over this summit organized by Angolan President João Lourenço.
For months, Félix Tshisekedi has accused his Rwandan counterpart of supporting the M23 rebels, who have been stepping up clashes with the Congolese army since November 2021. In an interview published the day before the Luanda summit, the Congolese head of state even claimed not to rule out a war with its neighbour. Paul Kagame denies and denounces for his part a cooperation between this same Congolese army and the armed group of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Appointed mediator in his capacity as president of International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), João Lourenço had been busy for several weeks bringing his two counterparts back to the same table. The result was ultimately mixed, as evidenced by the absence of a final press release.
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A roadmap, which provides, among other things, for the establishment of a commission to this, a ceasefire and a withdrawal of the M23 – which notably took control of the town of Bunagana, in North Kivu, not far from the border with Uganda – was nevertheless concluded. However, it too immediately aroused the skepticism of different delegations.