Joint statement on the situation in eastern Congo

Joint statement by Belgium, France, the UK and the US on the situation in eastern Congo.

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The United States along with the Great Lakes Special Envoys of Belgium, France and the UK condemn in the strongest terms the continuing advance of the UN-sanctioned March 23 Movement (M23) illegal armed group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The resumption of violence since 20 October, including in and around the towns of Rutshuru, Kiwanja, Rumangabo and Kibumba, undermines peace efforts and has caused further insecurity and significant human suffering. We call on the M23 to immediately withdraw, end any acts violating international law, and to cease hostilities.  

We reiterate our support for regional diplomatic efforts, including the Nairobi and Luanda processes, that promote de-escalation and create the conditions for lasting peace in DRC.  We encourage renewed dialogue through these mechanisms and for Congolese non-state armed groups to participate in the Nairobi process. All support to non-state armed actors must stop, including external support to M23. We call on countries in the region to use all means available to them to urge an immediate cessation of hostilities and immediate resumption of consultations on concrete steps to deescalate current tensions. 

We reaffirm our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the Great Lakes region. 

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