At the United Nations, there are big statements and small asides. Paradoxically, the latter are often more strategic than the former.
On the side of major declarations, this September 21, the minute ballet of heads of state continued at the podium. After the Gabonese Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose intervention was closely scrutinized after the spread of rumors that he had felt unwell, or the newly elected Kenyan William Ruto, the Ivorian Alassane Ouattara took the floor.
ECOWAS Crisis Summit
He called for the “release without delay” of the 46 Ivorian soldiers “unjustly detained” by Mali. ” [Ils sont] deployed as the 8th detachment of the National Support Element within Minusma [Mission des Nations unies au Mali] », he hammered, in response to Bamako who accuses them of being mercenaries who came to destabilize the country.
Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali: how far will Assimi Goïta go?
While the negotiations have been stalling for two and a half months, Alassane Ouattara came to New York in the hope of seeing the pressure increase, and the talks speed up. After having dined on September 20 with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, he was to meet the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the next day, before an ECOWAS summit was held on September 21, convened urgently by the Bissau-Guinean President, Umaro Sissoco Embaló.
Alassane Ouattara will he call for new sanctions to bend Bamako? If Mali, whose delegation in New York is led by Abdoulaye Maïga, should not be invited to this crisis meeting, it must make its voice heard at about the same time. The acting Malian Prime Minister is announced at the United Nations platform, and must also meet with Antonio Guterres.
Putin, Goïta, Doumbouya… Embaló’s diplomatic offensive
Discussions that take place far from Bamako, where Assimi Goïta received on September 21, for his first visit abroad, his Guinean counterpart, Mamadi Doumbouya, also under the threat of new West African sanctions.
Kagame and Tshisekedi around Macron
A few hours before Alassane Ouattara, Rwandan Paul Kagame spoke to his peers gathered in New York. “There is an urgent need for the political will to finally address the root causes of instability in eastern DRC. The blame game solves not the issues,” he said.
A response to the accusations made by Félix Tshisekedi the day before. “Rwanda’s involvement and its responsibility in the tragedy experienced by my country and my compatriots in the areas occupied by the Rwandan army and its M23 allies are no longer debatable”, he insisted, in search of more international support. obvious.
Eastern DRC: in New York, Felix Tshisekedi tries to break the deadlock
But alongside these strong speeches, the mediations to try to find a way out of the crisis between the two neighbors have accelerated. In the afternoon of September 21, the two heads of state met for an hour around Emmanuel Macron – a remarkable meeting when the two neighbors no longer have direct contact.
Hug between first ladies
According to a press release from the Elysée, Rwanda and the DRC “have agreed to act together to obtain the application of the provisions of the Luanda process as soon as possible, the withdrawal of the M23 and the cantonment of its combatants outside the area. of Bunagana.
Paris now seems to want to play a role of leading matchmaker in the conflict. As revealed Young Africa, earlier this week, the heads of the Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan intelligence services had met in Paris, at the initiative of the General Directorate of Foreign Intelligence of France (DGSE).
Eastern DRC: the shadow diplomacy of French intelligence
Finally, on September 21, a meeting of another order sparked comments in New York: those of the Congolese and Rwandan first ladies. Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi and Jeanette Kagame were photographed all smiles, indulging in a frank accolade.