Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, the EAC-Facilitator of the Nairobi Process on Peace and Stability in Eastern DRC and the African Union (AU) Kenya Peace Envoy made an official visit to Goma on, November 15, 2022 as part of his outreach sessions with stakeholders.
Upon arrival, former President Kenyatta was on his way to visit a camp of internally-displaced people near Goma when he was confronted with tens of thousands of internally displaced persons on the roadsides.
A statement from the Consulate of the Republic of Kenya in Goma, DRC indicates that the EAC facilitator noted the misery, the cycle of conflict by armed groups, had inflicted on innocent men, women, children, and the elderly.
“Thereafter, the former President held a roundtable with representatives of the FARDC, MONUSCO, and the East African Community Regional Force and observed the adverse effect of the violence of M23 rebels and other armed groups amounted to grave human rights violations and has led to the displacements of millions in Eastern DRC,” read the statement.
He emphasized that the situation requires urgent intervention by the international community, AUPSC and UNSC.
The EAC- Facilitator called on the international community, humanitarian organizations such as Unicef, WFP, IOM, UN OCHA, to urgently respond to assuage the terrible distress and human suffering.
In separate conversations, the former President expressed concern that his work has been severely hampered by the unfolding dreadful humanitarian crisis in and around Goma, and it is virtually impossible for him to fully realize the potential of his role when the fighting and the wholesale displacement of towns and villages is ongoing.
He further observed that the terms of the Nairobi conclaves, which had been agreed upon by all EAC Heads of State outlined that the fighting forces would remain in the positions that they were at the time of the Nairobi conclaves, have not been honoured by the rebel groups and their backers.
It is important to note, observed the facilitator that the humanitarian crisis that is now unfolding is as a result of non-adherence to recommendations agreed upon in Nairobi during the Heads of State Conclaves.
The EAC Facilitator stressed that this is likely to undermine the military track that was predicated on everyone retaining their positions to allow for the East African Regional Force to interposition itself.
“It is critical that this situation is resolved to allow for the Facilitator to fully engage the EACRF to take their rightful positions and allow for the humanitarian situation to be resolved with utmost urgency,” read the statement.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a