188 views, 2 views today
There is big optimism that armed groups in DR Congo which are now parties to the dialogue in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, will flow with the dedication and commitment that guarantees progress towards a durable solution.
A statement shared by Amb. Isaiya Kabira, the Director General in charge of international conferences, media events and communications in Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, indicates that an inter-Congolese dialogue on the peace and security situation between DR Congo and local armed groups based inside and outside the country continued in Nairobi on April 23.
Logistical and organizational challenges delayed the initial schedule of talks, the statement states, adding that however, once the delegates congregated and started deliberations; they exhibited steadfast zeal, verve and dynamism.
“The inter DRC peace dialogue meetings are still ongoing in Nairobi with representatives from 24 groups. Good progress is being made and the discussions are honest and frank among the over 80 delegates in attendance,” Amb. Kabira said on Wednesday, April 27.
The initiative is an outcome of the first and second Heads of State conclaves on the peace and security situation in DR Congo under the chairmanship of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held on April 8 and 21, respectively, at State House Nairobi. During the second meeting, Presidents President Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, as well as Rwanda’s foreign minister Dr Vincent Biruta, agreed to the deployment of a regional force to help contain armed groups holed up in DR Congo.
As noted, later, on the third day of the dialogue graced by Amb. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, witnessed deliberations between six armed groups based in South Kivu Province in eastern DR Congo and the government of their country “held in a spirit of cordiality and frankness.”
“The Principal Secretary called for the harnessing positive energy to actionable outcomes. He spoke to the need of a revived commitment to undertake exhaustive discussions to chart a path towards durable peace,” the statement reads.
The Congolese government, through Prof Serge Tshibangu, President Tshisekedi’s special envoy, “expressed willingness to engage all players to expedite the resolution of the conflict situation in the country.
On their part, as noted, the representatives of the various armed groups present emphasized their readiness to lay down arms if a situation that returns to tranquillity in their country is reached.
As noted, the goodwill and enthusiasm demonstrated during the initial deliberations were to be given further impetus by the arrival of nine more groups on April 25.
Amb. Kabira confirmed to The New Times that nine more groups did arrive that day.
As noted, the government of Kenya and both regional and international partners; continue to encourage the parties to pursue peace and stability in eastern DR Congo for the benefit of its citizens and the EAC as a whole.
UN Secretary General António Guterres on April 23 spoke to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Guterres assured that UN fully supports the initiative by EAC countries to bring peace in eastern DR Congo and neighbouring countries. The African Union has also backed the initiative.
DR Congo, which hosts one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world, MONUSCO, has long struggled to bring about peace in its eastern regions. The vast country is now home to more than 130 known local and foreign militia groups – the majority based in North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces in the country’s east – which continue to kill people, loot and disrupt development in the areas they occupy. There are more than 40 militia factions in North Kivu alone and more than 50 others in South Kivu.