Ceasefire In Congo Expected To Hold Throughout Election

The parties participating in the fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have agreed to a 72-hour truce.

The agreement that the Biden administration helped to arrange to calm the violence in the eastern Congo is expected to be upheld by the country’s electoral process, which is crucial in avoiding a wider war between Rwanda and the Congo. The United States is concerned that the rising frequency of clashes between Congolese troops and rebels supported by Rwanda in the eastern Congo might eventually lead to a direct confrontation between the two nations. These clashes have been occurring more often since May. Top intelligence and national security officials have been instrumental in negotiating a number of ceasefires over the last month.

United States intelligence indicates that troops from both sides are generally following through on their promises, according to authorities. Both the Congolese military and the rebels supported by Rwanda have suspended their drones and offensive weaponry, respectively, from parts of the sites they had previously occupied. Thus, two U.S. officials have said that the administration anticipates the ceasefire being in effect until after Friday’s Congolese elections and until at least December 28, the date mutually agreed upon by the two nations.

The fact that Rwanda and the Congo seem to be following the U.S.-brokered truce highlights the clout of Washington in a region where its principal rivals, including China, are also vying for dominance. In order to support its growing electric car manufacturing, Beijing has long invested in the mining business in the Congo. As a result, it controls over 80% of the country’s cobalt market, which is the biggest in the world. In an effort to play catch-up, the Biden administration has inked many accords with Congo.

Government officials have warned that tensions between Rwanda and the Congo are expected to increase in the next days, and that the situation is still quite fluid. Officials have stated their expectation that humanitarian workers would be able to access previously inaccessible locations and that thousands of displaced persons will be able to return home if both parties continue to fulfill their obligations under the pact.