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Possible economic sanctions for R.D. Congo

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday pledged 34 million euros in aid to the conflict-ridden eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and said any side trying to derail peace efforts in the region should be subject to sanctions. Macron made this statement during an official visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the perception that France supported neighboring Rwanda fueled anti-French sentiment, amid an offensive by the M23 guerrilla group in the east of the country, which the authoritie France has also condemned Rwanda in the past for supporting the M23 guerrilla, along with the UN, DR Congo, and other countries, but Macron called for more firmness during a press conference in Kinshasa.s in Kinshasa argue is supported by Rwanda. On the other hand, Rwanda denies these accusations.

“I was very clear about condemning M23 and those who support it,” Macron said. A peace process brokered by regional powers in Angola in November has so far failed to end the fighting, but Macron said he had confidence in the plan. “If they don’t respect it, then yes, there can be sanctions,” he said without naming either party. DR Congo saw several small-scale protests ahead of Macron’s visit, signs of anti-French sentiment in parts of French-speaking Africa that the head of state is trying to play down on this tour, where he has spoken of a renewed form of partnership with the continent. France has previously joined the United Nations, Congo, and other countries in accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23, but Macron was asked during a news conference in Kinshasa to more firmly condemn Rwanda. “I have been very clear about the condemnation of the M23 and those who support it,” Macron said. A peace process brokered by regional powers in Angola in November has so far failed to end the fighting, but Macron said he had confidence in the plan. “If they do not respect it, then yes, there can be sanctions,” he said without naming any particular party. Congo saw several small-scale protests ahead of Macron’s visit—signs of the anti-French sentiment in parts of Francophone Africa that he is seeking to dispel on this tour, where he has outlined a vision of a renewed form of partnership with the continent.

By Paul Bumman

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