Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi threatened to declare war on Rwanda on Monday during his final election rally in Kinshasa.
Speaking in front of thousands of supporters, Tshisekedi said “from the first shot they fire, I will gather parliament in congress because the constitution allows me to do so, and I will declare war on Rwanda.”
Congolese politicians and groups including the M23 rebels, who have seized territory in eastern DRC, and Corneille Nangaa, a former Congolese election commission chief, launched the Congo River Alliance in Nairobi, Kenya on Friday.
Nangaa, who was sanctioned by the U.S. for corruption and obstructing the 2018 election, said the alliance would bring together various Congolese armed groups, militias, social and political organizations.
DRC’s insecurity is in part an unresolved legacy of a civil war that officially ended in 2003.
M23’s recent offensives have sparked a diplomatic quarrel with neighboring Rwanda, which DRC and U.N. experts accuse of backing the militia. Rwanda denies involvement.
Tshisekedi faces off against nearly two dozen rivals in a general election on Wednesday, December 20. His challengers include old rivals like Martin Fayulu, who came second in the disputed 2018 poll, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege.