On Friday, February 16, 2024, a mini-summit on the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia taking advantage of the 37th African Union Summit, drawing attention from regional leaders and international observers alike.

The summit, which took place behind closed doors, was a platform for President Félix Tshisekedi of the DRC to address the pressing issues facing his country, particularly focusing on the role of Rwanda in the ongoing conflict in the eastern regions of the DRC. According to the official account of the Presidency of the DRC, President Tshisekedi accused Rwanda of perpetuating insecurity and exploiting the DRC’s resources.

The following day, Saturday, February 17, 2024, Patrick Muyaya, the spokesperson for the DRC Government, emphasized the President Tshisekedi’s commitment to truth and peace. Muyaya conveyed President Tshisekedi’s firm stance against negotiating with the M23 rebel group and accused Rwanda and its allies of waging a war to continue the plunder of the DRC. These comments underscore the DRC’s refusal to seek peace at any cost, prioritizing sovereignty and the cessation of exploitation.

The mini-summit concluded on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Angolan President Joao Lourenço played an important role. As the initiator of the summit, President Lourenço met separately with Presidents Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, promising to continue his mediation efforts in Luanda, Angola.

Simultaneously, the 37th assembly of the African Union (AU) commenced in Addis Ababa, with a focus on “educating an African fit for the 21st century.” President Tshisekedi participated in this summit, marking the DRC’s commitment to the AU’s Peace and Security Council (CPS). The assembly also witnessed the transition of AU chairmanship from President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros to President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania.

President Kagame of Rwanda met with with several African leaders, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President João Lourenço of Angola, and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, on the sidelines of the 37th assembly of the African Union.