Stabilizing the eastern DRC was one of Félix Tshisekedi’s campaign promises and is a key area for his government. This is an obvious priority, but a complicated task, and one that numerous national and international actors have been engaged in with limited success for 20 years.
Back at home President Félix Tshisekedi popularity has increased and the international stance that President Tshisekedi is adopting is a major factor.
President Félix Tshisekedi’s more open and cooperative attitude towards and engagement with regional countries is a positive first step in the right direction. So too is his concerted engagement with regional leaders in SADC. The DRC’s change in leadership has created new momentum, and opportunities to revitalize a regional approach to peace in the eastern DRC.
Regional and international actors who want to support Tshisekedi can do so by emphasizing for the complete elimination of negative armed groups that are using the eastern DRC as a rear base.
The Congolese desire to build a regional coalition is real and is close to President Félix Tshisekedi’s heart. President Félix Tshisekedi speaking at the UNGA in September 2019, called for “the creation of a regional coalition similar to the global coalition against terrorism, to stamp out the plague of insecurity created by domestic or foreign armed groups.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been affected by several armed conflicts in recent decades.
At least more than 100 armed groups are active in Kivu, in particular, the FDLR and the ADF.