French President Emmanuel Macron over the weekend emphasized the need for Congolese authorities to look within for solutions to their security challenges, especially in the country’s eastern region, instead of always looking for solutions elsewhere.
Macron emphasized this during a joint press conference held with his Congolese counterpart, Felix Tshisekedi during the former’s visit to the neighbouring country which was part of his four-nation Africa tour.
The French president was only emphasizing what is the most logical thing to do to break the cycle of violence that has eaten up the vast country for close to thirty years, leaving a trail of suffering including death and other crimes against humanity while hundreds of thousands of Congolese citizens have been cast in perpetual life of refuge in neighbouring countries for decades.
Over the years, the Congolese leaders have found it more convenient to blame their problems and lack of solutions to these challenges on external actors, making them almost like observers in issues for which they should have taken a central role.
The same leaders have over the past months done nothing to implement resolutions by regional mechanisms to end the security gridlock that that been exacerbated by the renewed fighting between government forces and a coalition of armed groups fighting alongside them and the M23 rebel group, which is just one of the plethora of armed groups that operate in this region.
Macron’s visit was preceded by demonstrations by Congolese youths who were accusing him of siding with their so-called aggressors – in this case Rwanda, which without evidence, they accuse of backing M23 – and probably hoped to pressurize him to buy into their theory.
For as long as the Congolese, especially their leadership will continue looking for scapegoats instead of taking matters into their hand to solve the challenges they face, these challenges will persist and only get worse.
M23 is just one of the over 120 armed groups that are active in eastern DR Congo and without a proper locally-backed political solution, more will continue sprouting up, to the detriment of the local population.