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UN Official Welcomes Two-Week Truce in Congo Amid Alarming Violence

The top U.N. official in Congo, Bintou Keita, welcomed a two-week truce in the east, where violence is at "alarming levels." She hopes for a permanent ceasefire. Keita expressed concern over M23 rebel group's rapid expansion and attacks, despite Congolese army operations supported by U.N. peacekeepers and southern Africa forces.

Keita accused Rwanda of supporting M23, enabling territorial gains and risking a wider regional conflict. She also criticized other armed groups for "horrific attacks" causing hundreds of deaths and injuries.

Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi accuses Rwanda of military backing for M23, which Rwanda denies. U.S. deputy ambassador Stephanie Sullivan called Rwanda's support for M23 "irresponsible" and expressed alarm at the conflict's rapid escalation.

Sullivan urged Rwanda and Congo to de-escalate, commit to diplomatic processes, and hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses. She commended the two-week truce, facilitated by the U.S. and Angola, and pledged to monitor it.

Congolese and Rwandan ambassadors exchanged accusations at the U.N. Security Council meeting. Congo's ambassador called for Rwandan troops' withdrawal and sanctions on Rwanda for supporting M23. Rwanda's ambassador claimed Congo failed to protect Congolese Tutsis and reiterated the need to address the FDLR rebel group's threat.

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