Since 15 November, fighting has taken place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between government troops (FARDC) and M23 rebels. The rebels have already taken Goma, the capital of North Kivu, and are now approaching Bukavu in South Kivu.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his concern over the situation and issued the following statement in Berlin today (22 November):
I have been following developments in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with increasing concern.
I welcome the fact that talks are now taking place between Presidents Kabila of the Congo, Kagame of Rwanda and Museveni of Uganda. Their aim must be to prevent military conflicts, end the violence in eastern Congo and find political solutions to the region’s many problems.
Building confidence and cooperating in earnest are – especially between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – the key to a sustainable solution. People are suffering, and if fighting were to break out again, their fate would be even worse. M23 must retreat from Goma, end its military offensive and respect the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Any further destabilization of eastern Congo must be prevented.
All parties are called upon to respect human rights and protect the civilian population.