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Congolese team walks out of Uhuru peace talks

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta briefing DRC delegates at the East Africa- Led Nairobi process at Safari Park Hotel. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta was forced to postpone the planned closing ceremony of the East African Community-led Nairobi process of DRC peace talks today after the Congolese delegation walked out.

It emerged that a section of the organisers of the event short-changed the delegation of monies meant for their reimbursement.

The disgruntled Congolese said they received different amounts of money while others didn’t receive anything at all.

Uhuru, who is the EAC facilitator of peace talks, acknowledged that an injustice had been done and will only finalise the peace process once the individual needs of the Congolese are settled.

Uhuru accused the organisesr, whom he did not name, of duping the delegates and embezzling their funds. He said action will be taken against those involved.

“I am disappointed to say organisers of this meeting known as Nairobi Three have a problem. We cannot be here talking about peace when the people coming from the deep forests of DRC come here and do not have their welfare secured,” he said.

The delegation comprised DRC government officials, rebel groups and local representatives who have been gathering in Nairobi in the past week to find ways to end the conflict in the Eastern part of the country that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.

In what he called an embarrassment for a peace process, Uhuru postponed the expected conclusion of the week-long meeting to today, when he believes the issues will have been resolved.

The former president said he is aware that sufficient funds were available to put together the EAC-led Nairobi process, and that such events should not have occurred.

"I want to assure you that those of us who have done this, I won't name them because they are one of us and know who they are... tomorrow we will deal with your personal matters before getting down to the business that brought us here," Uhuru said.