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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Concern over conflict

The withdrawal of armed fighters who have swept through the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a matter of months is unlikely to mean an end to the perpetual conflict, analysts say. “I’m sceptical about the possibility of a compromise between the dissidents, the Congolese government and the Rwandan government,” said Jason Stearns, Director [sic] of the Africa research organisation Rift Valley Institute. “The (dissidents) want to be seen to be acting in good faith. But ultimately it’s just a tactical withdrawal,” he added. …

“Rwanda wants to maintain its sphere of influence in DRC… There are the minerals and the money, but there is also ethnicity — most of M23’s military leadership is Tutsi,” said Stearns. Rwanda has been run by a Tutsi administration since fighters forced the Hutu government from power during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The country has backed Tutsi groups in Congo to hunt a Hutu militia which includes war criminals who took part in the genocide and wants to overthrow the Rwandan government. But Rwanda denies any involvement in the conflict.

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