DRC president calls on Belgium to put Rwanda sanctions on EU agenda

Congolese president Félix Tshisekedi called for European sanctions against Rwanda during a meeting with Alexander De Croo in Brussels on Wednesday. 

Tshisekedi is visiting Belgium until Thursday, his first official foreign visit since his re-election late last year. His meeting with prime minister De Croo focused on the conflict with Rwanda in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. An offensive by the M23 rebels, who the EU, UN and DRC say are supported by Kigali, is straining relations between the two countries.

Last week, the European Commission signed an agreement with Rwanda on the supply of critical raw materials. Tshisekedi believes Rwanda is looting the materials from eastern DRC and called on De Croo to step up pressure through sanctions. 

He hopes Belgium will put the message on the European agenda during its term as EU president. “Sanctions are the only way to make the dictator Paul Kagame [the Rwandan president] step down,” Tshisekedi told the press on Wednesday. Belgium “is doing something, but it is always possible to do more”, he said. 

“I think the timing of the agreement is very bad and have made that clear to the European Commission,” De Croo said. Now the deal is in place, it could be used to DRC’s advantage to demand transparency on the origin of materials, he suggested. He said he was willing to “work with the EU” to look at sanctions against Rwandan individuals. 

However, Belgium also expects action from DRC. It is up to the country “to demonstrate that it itself does not support other militias on the ground”, De Croo said, and Tshisekedi must use “his second and last mandate” to implement reforms, fight corruption and respect human rights. 

“We want to work together with one goal: to improve the lives of the Congolese people,” he said.


DRC president Felix Tshisekedi and Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo ahead of a meeting in Brussels, 28 February 2024 © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT / BELGA VIDEO MAARTEN WEYNANTS

Related news

Website preview
DRC elections: Belgium congratulates Tshisekedi despite 'irregularities'
Belgium has congratulated the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, on his election victory. Tshisekedi was re-elected...
Website preview
Romelu Lukaku denounces violence in DRC: 'Stop the genocide'
After scoring against Feyenoord on Thursday night, AS Roma's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku took the opportunity to send a message about the deadly...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels