The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, has accused the opposition of being in cahoots with rebel groups in the country's conflict-stricken east.

The DRC has been plagued by conflict in the North Kivu province, and Tshisekedi, who is seeking re-election in next week's vote, has repeatedly accused Rwandan President Paul Kagame of backing the M23 rebels.  

Tshisekedi this week went a step further and accused the opposition of also forming part of this alleged plot.

Tshisekedi made these remarks at a rally ahead of the December 20 general elections, where 44 million Congolese are expected to head to the polls.

Currently on the campaign trail, President Tshisekedi accused the opposition of collaborating with the enemies responsible for the conflict in the east of the DRC.

At a rally in the city of Mbuji Mayi in the Kasai-Oriental Province, Tshisekedi called on the electorate to "open their eyes.".

"Our country is heavily fought. Every Congolese must stand up to defend their homeland. The enemies of our country are found among the presidential candidates. They will be here soon. Be careful. You know well the war raging in the east of our country, but I am determined to fight to overcome insecurity in the east of our country."

He vowed to strengthen the country's army and police. 

"We must integrate the army and the police in order to ensure and protect the territorial integrity of our country. During my second term, we will improve the conditions of our soldiers and police because we must be strong to face our enemies. I am committed to continuing our program in 145 territories as well as free secondary school."

This conflict weighs heavily on the economy of the DRC. According to official figures, the value of the Congolese franc has fallen by 15-20% against the US dollar since the beginning of the year.

Two-thirds of the DRC's population now lives below the poverty line, earning two dollars a day or less.

President Tshisekedi has anchored his campaign on unity, security, and prosperity as he seeks a second term on next Wednesday's ballot.

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Ndishishii Hamufungu