Kenya has hosted the East Africa Community (EAC) – led Nairobi process on the security situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is scheduled to run from November 28 to December 3, 2022.
The 3-Inter-Congolese dialogue aims at accelerating the ongoing regional efforts in attaining sustainable peace and security in Eastern DRC and it incorporates consultations amongst armed groups in Eastern DRC, local community leaders, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
Speaking during the event at a Nairobi hotel, EAC Chairperson and the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr Evariste Ndayishimiye, who officially launched the dialogue, said that it is the responsibility of the EAC to restore peace and security in the Eastern DRC.
“We are cognizant of the high expectations the region and international community has in this process and I am appealing to all partners to commit to supporting initiatives aimed at promoting peace and consolidating stability in the region,” said Ndayishimiye.
He added that the purpose of the dialogue is to emphasize the urgent need of the discussion and that the security in Eastern DRC continues to be a source of great concern to the EAC community.
“We will work together to ensure that there is security and peace in DRC by releasing our troops from our various states to DRC in order protect them and also to enhance security in that particular region, for security and progress in DRC is dependent on that of the EAC region,” said Ndayishimiye.
The chairperson called upon all members promoting peace and security in DRC to give priority to humans and encouraged Congolese traditional leaders to ensure peace for they have support from EAC, and also thanked African Union (AU) and United Nation (UN) for proving the initiative to Inter-Congolese dialogue.
Giving his remarks, EAC facilitator and Former President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the process so far has convened various objectives including identifying political processes to creating conducive environment for armed groups, consolidating support and active participation of communities, deepening consultations of armed groups and identifying root causes of conflicts.
“No efforts should be spared in restoring peace and security in Eastern DRC and so far the dialogue, through deploying its troops to the DRC, has yielded positive results and success of the initiative,” said Uhuru.
He also added that the consultations between EAC member states gives hope that all the objectives will be met and also urged all the participants to be part of the process including those who are not yet at the table.
He reiterated Kenya’s support for effective restoration of peace in DRC, EAC states acts on the commitments that have been made and said that he is looking forward to opportunities that enhance and strengthen the bonds to the people of East Africa.
By Irene Mwende and Edna Okoth