Former President Uhuru Kenyatta. [File, Standard]

Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the East African Community’s lead facilitator of the DRC peace process, has said he is optimistic that peace will be restored in the DRC.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, December 6, Kenyatta said he’s hopeful that the warring groups will strike an agreement to end the perennial conflict.

The former Head of State was addressing a delegation comprising DRC government officials, rebel group representatives, civil societies, and victims of conflict.

Kenyatta closed the week-long negotiations on Tuesday at the Safari Park Hotel.

The former Kenyan leader told the rebel groups that should they agree to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, they’ll be absorbed into the DRC army after undergoing appropriate training.

“You will all be incorporated in all the economic activities in the area. This will be after a consultative meeting in Kinshasa that will involve all the local communities in eastern part of DRC. That will be in January [2023], and I will personally be there as a facilitator to ensure that all these happen,” said Kenyatta.

The former president asked the international community to cooperate in enabling peace restoration in the eastern part of DRC.

On Monday, December 5, Kenyatta postponed the closure of the seminar by a day after some organisers allegedly pocketed cash meant for the participants of the talks.

The conflict in eastern DRC has claimed thousands of lives and led to the displacement of millions of people.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the origins of the current violence in the DRC are in the massive refugee crisis and spillover from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. After Hutu génocidaires fled to eastern DRC and formed armed groups, opposing Tutsi and other opportunistic rebel groups arose.