UN Sec-Gen: We support DRC peace talks by East African states

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. [Source: Twitter; Antonio Guterres]

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is optimistic the East Africa Community (EAC) will resolve the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Guterres said that he had spoken to President Uhuru Kenyatta, EAC chairperson, adding the United Nations was fully behind East African states' efforts in conflict resolution.

“I just spoke to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. The UN fully supports the Initiative by the East African countries to bring peace in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and the neighbouring countries,” Guterres tweeted on Saturday, April 24 at 7: 51pm.

For about two decades, the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been the epicentre of the deadliest conflict since World War II.

Kenya was to host and facilitate direct peace talks between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and rebels who have seized parts of eastern Congo on Friday, April 24.

The consultative dialogue, State House said, was to be held in Nairobi.

As of Sunday, it was not clear whether the talks went on as scheduled or they were disrupted following the demise of former President Mwai Kibaki.

Neither the member states nor the EAC has communicated on the talks.

The talks were to bring together the various local armed groups and seek to broker a long-lasting deal between the protagonists of the bitter conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The peace talks come barely a month after Nairobi held an EAC Heads of State summit that officially admitted Kinshasa to the East African Community.