Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde refused to take part in the family photo of the LaFrancophonie.
He was representing President Felix Tshisekedi of DRC at the XVIII Francophonie Summit in Djerba, Tunisia.
According to the Congolese Ministry of Communication and Media, the Prime Minister’s refusal to be in the photo was to send a message of protest against alleged Rwanda support to the M23 rebels.
However, the Rwanda government has repeatedly denied any involvement with the rebels which Kinshasa continues to accuse it of.
“The Prime Minister refused to post alongside world leaders including Rwandan President Paul Kagame,” reported the Politico, a congolese state leaning newspaper.
“Unable to appear next to Paul Kagame to show the total disapproval of the Congolese Government against the Rwanda, Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, representative of President Félix Tshisekedi, did not participate in the family photo at the opening of the Francophonie Summit in Djerba”, noted the government spokesperson.
Concerned about the security situation of his country, President Tshisekedi dispatched his Prime Minister Sama Lukonde to represent him and according to insider sources, to make sure the country’s voice heard on the security situation in East DRC and also to take stock of the IX Games of La Francophonie, which the DRC is preparing to host.
This two-day summit, from November 19 to 20, 2022, is placed under the theme: “Connectivity in diversity: digital technology, vector of development and solidarity in the Francophone space”.