July 19, 2024

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NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson Applauds Humanitarian Truce in Eastern DRC

TOPSHOT - War-displaced people flee towards the city of Goma, eastern Republic of Congo, on November 15, 2022. - Thousands of displaced people began to flee after soldiers retreated to Kanyarushinya, an informal camp of over 40,000 people in the northern district of Goma. Troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were battling M23 fighters in Kibumba, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Goma, security officials and local residents said. The M23 militia has recently surged across the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, capturing swathes of territory and inflaming tensions with neighbouring Rwanda. (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP) (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States welcomes the two-week humanitarian truce committed to by the parties to the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The humanitarian situation in North Kivu is dire, with close to 3 million internally displaced people (IDP) in the province. The recent expansion of fighting in North Kivu has prevented humanitarian workers from reaching hundreds of thousands of IDPs in the area around Kanyabayonga and displaced more than 100,000 people from their homes.

The two-week humanitarian truce, which will begin at midnight local time on July 5 and will continue through July 19, commits the parties to the conflict to silence their weapons, allow for the voluntary return of displaced people, and provide humanitarian personnel unfettered access to vulnerable populations. The truce covers areas of hostilities most affecting civilian populations.

This development builds on the confidence building measures secured during Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines’ travel to the DRC and Rwanda in November of last year, and her subsequent engagements with Presidents Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.  The United States remains fully in support of the Luanda process and the Government of Angola’s efforts to address the current and historic factors perpetuating this longstanding crisis.

The Governments of the DRC and Rwanda have expressed support for this two-week humanitarian truce to ease the suffering of vulnerable populations and set conditions for broader de-escalation of tensions in eastern DRC.  The U.S. Government calls on all parties to honor the spirit of the truce prior to it taking effect.

The U.S. Government will continue to use its intelligence and diplomatic resources to monitor activities by armed forces and non-state armed groups during the humanitarian truce.

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