KIGALI (Rwanda) -- Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame will meet in Angola amid rising tensions, a Congolese government spokesperson said.
The leaders will meet Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations as well as the armed conflict in eastern Congo. Last month, M23 rebels took a small town near the Uganda border. A Congo spokesman Patrick Muyaya confirmed Tuesday that the two leaders would be discussing bilateral relations.
Officials from Congo have claimed that M23 is backed Rwanda and accused their smaller neighbour of occupying Congolese territory.
Muyaya stated by telephone that they would be discussing Rwandan aggression in Congo. Muyaya was asked if Congo still believes that Rwandan troops are fighting alongside M23 rebels, eastern Congo.
Rwanda has denied support for M23 since its inception. This dispute was made by conflict observers, U.N experts, and others. M23 is mainly composed of Congolese ethnic Tutsi fighters who claim that their government has not honored previous commitments to reintegrate these people into the national army.
Angola's president was asked by the African Union to mediate in the Congo-Rwanda conflict.
In televised comments Monday, Kagame slammed Congolese authorities. He accused Congo of supporting another rebel group that includes fighters who participated in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
Congo has never supported the group, commonly known as FDLR.
"This is the same story as 20 years ago. Why would Congo support them to bomb Rwandan territory? "Those accusations are false," Muyaya stated. "We must deal with hundreds of militias inside the country, and we have been discussing a common strategy with all our neighbors to end foreign armed group activity."
The East African Community bloc, which Congo joined recently, is working to deploy a peacekeeping force within eastern Congo's rebel provinces.
It is not clear when the force that would be authorized to disarm insurgents such as M23 will be deployed.