Washington calls on Rwanda and DRC to de-escalate

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on the leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda to de-escalate after an upsurge in clashes with rebels opposed to Kinshasa.
Blinken, who heads to Japan on Tuesday November 7 after his latest tour of the Middle East, spoke separately by telephone with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and DRC Head of State Félix Tshisekedi about the “volatile situation” on the border between the two countries, the State Department said.
Blinken “advocated a diplomatic solution to the tensions between the two countries and urged each side to take steps to de-escalate the situation, including the withdrawal of troops from the border,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
Fighting has intensified since early October north of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, between the M23 rebellion and the DRC army (FARDC) allied with pro-government armed groups.
Nearly 200,000 people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting that has resumed since October 1 in the Rutshuru and Masisi regions, north of Goma, according to the UN humanitarian agency Ocha. A record 6.9 million people are internally displaced in the DRC, mainly due to renewed violence in the east of the country, according to the UN.