Ramaphosa Focuses on DRC Conflict Resolution Ahead of South Africa's Elections

South African President Ramaphosa actively mediates DRC conflict ahead of crucial elections, with potential regional implications. Outcome could impact ANC's campaign and South Africa's foreign policy.

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Ebenezer Mensah
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Ramaphosa Focuses on DRC Conflict Resolution Ahead of South Africa's Elections

Ramaphosa Focuses on DRC Conflict Resolution Ahead of South Africa's Elections

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been actively engaged in conflict resolution efforts in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the weeks leading up to South Africa's May 29, 2023 elections. Ramaphosa, who leads the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has been working to find solutions to the growing conflict in the region, where South African troops have been deployed as part of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) contingent since December 2023.

The president's focus on the DRC conflict comes as he faces a critical test for the ANC's stranglehold on power in the upcoming elections. The outcome of Ramaphosa's efforts in the DRC could potentially impact the ANC's campaign, as the party aims to secure 14 million votes to win the elections outright.

Ramaphosa has been advocating for peace through political and diplomatic negotiations in the war between M23 rebels and the DRC. This shift in approach may reflect the realities on the ground, as the DRC has been struggling to push back the M23 rebels since their comeback offensive in 2022. The conflict is part of the long fallout from the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

In a recent development, Belgium has urged the DRC to file a complaint against Rwanda with the International Court of Justice over its failure to respect the border. This comes as Ramaphosa has spoken of the virtue of political dialogue in the Great Lakes conflict, signaling a potential change in tack.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict in the DRC has far-reaching implications for regional stability and security. President Ramaphosa's efforts to resolve the conflict could not only impact the lives of those directly affected by the violence but also shape South Africa's foreign policy and its role as a regional power.

As the May 29 elections approach, all eyes will be on Ramaphosa and the ANC to see how the situation in the DRC unfolds and whether the president's conflict resolution efforts will bear fruit. The outcome of these efforts could have significant consequences for both the DRC and South Africa, as well as the wider region.

Key Takeaways

  • Ramaphosa actively engaged in conflict resolution in eastern DRC before SA elections
  • Outcome of Ramaphosa's DRC efforts could impact ANC's campaign to win 14M votes
  • Ramaphosa advocates for political dialogue in Great Lakes conflict, signaling shift
  • DRC conflict has regional implications; Ramaphosa's efforts could shape SA's foreign policy
  • Outcome of Ramaphosa's DRC efforts crucial for both DRC and South Africa