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Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, EAC Heads of State commit to ending hostilities in DRC

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and Kenya's former President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Twitter, Jumuiya]

East African Community (EAC) Heads of State are now calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the restoration of peace.

Peace envoy to the Horn of Africa Former President Uhuru Kenyatta led the peace talks on the security situation in the DRC, which has resulted in the loss of lives and displacement of thousands of civilians. 

In a joint communique on Friday, EAC Chairperson and Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye, his DR Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi and Uhuru reaffirmed their commitment to seeing an end to the hostile situation in the DRC.

The trio expressed concern over the worrying humanitarian situation “and called upon the international community to activate humanitarian support to alleviate the suffering of the displaced civilian population in and around Goma.”

The leaders further called on all armed groups to surrender their arms and pursue their interests through the avenues provided for under the EAC-led Nairobi process, which took place from November 4 to 13.

The conclave further “supported the recommendation of the Chiefs of Defence Forces made at their meeting held on November 8, 2022, in Bujumbura, Burundi, demanding the withdrawal of M23 rebel group to the pre-April 2022 positions,” read the communique in part.

Nairobi’s Role

Former President Uhuru has pitched camp in the capital Kinshasa to lead the process, meeting with various community groups, international organisations, members of the diplomatic corps, and Government officials in Eastern DRC.

Kenya on Sunday deployed troops under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) to mineral-rich DRC to quell the violence and rising tensions.

Jointly, the troops are to work with the Congolese Army to defeat the armed M23 rebels, work with humanitarian agencies to ensure aid reaches the population, and participate in the disarmament, demobilisation, and community recovery.