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Macron praises the ceasefire in DR Congo

KINSHASA: Brussels said on Saturday it was setting up a “humanitarian airlift” to deliver aid to the conflict-hit east of the DRC, as the visiting French president said all sides supported a ceasefire next week.

The airlift will be linked to Goma, the capital of eastern North Kivu province in DR Congo, where fighting with rebel group M23 has displaced more than 600,000 people.

The operation will “provide humanitarian assistance in the form of medical supplies and food along with a range of other emergency supplies,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron, who was visiting the country on the final leg of his Africa trip to renew fractured ties, said all sides would support a ceasefire in the fighting.

During talks with Angolan President Joao Lourenco and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, as well as Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Macron said all had “clear support” for a ceasefire next Tuesday, in line with the schedule brokered by Angola .

The EU also announced it was releasing around €47 million to be channeled through humanitarian partners for immediate needs such as food, healthcare, shelter and water.

“The EU stands ready to mobilize all necessary assets to support humanitarian workers, including logistics and air, to meet the needs of the people of the DRC,” said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic.

The DRC government has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 militia group, which reemerged from dormancy in late 2021 and subsequently occupied large parts of North Kivu territory.

Independent UN experts, the United States and other Western countries – including France – agree with Kinshasa’s assessment, but Rwanda denies the allegation.

‘Strategic partner’

Anti-French sentiment runs high in some former African colonies as the continent once again becomes a diplomatic battleground and Russian and Chinese influence grows.

On Thursday, Macron said the era of French meddling in Africa was over and there was no desire to go back in time.

The French President met President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the neighboring Republic of Congo on Friday after visiting Angola and Gabon.

In the Angolan capital Luanda, Macron held talks with his counterpart Joao Lourenco and called the oil-rich country a “strategic partner in the region”.

Macron, who chaired a business forum attended by more than 50 French companies, said the “heart of this visit is strengthening agricultural partnerships” with Angola.

For decades, France has been involved in the petroleum industry in the Portuguese-speaking South African country, which is one of the continent’s largest producers of crude oil.

Before leaving Luanda, French President thanked Lourenco for his work in restoring stability to the region and highlighted his diplomatic efforts in the conflict-torn east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He added there were “reasonable hopes” of de-escalation in the turbulent region.

Macron also met with Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera in Gabon on Thursday after relations deteriorated as Russian influence in Bangui grew and French troops left the troubled country last year.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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