President João Lourenco, the African Union (AU)-appointed mediator for dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda, convened a mini-summit on peace and security in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Luanda, November 23, 2022 whose resolution was for a ceasefire in the region.
Present at the meeting were Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye, DRC President Félix Tshisekedi, the Rwandan Foreign Minister representing Rwanda President Paul Kagame, and the Facilitator of the Nairobi Process, former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
After more than six hours of closed-door discussions, the meeting resulted in a cease-fire agreement imposed on the M23 terrorist group, effective Friday, November 25, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
According to an official Communiqué, the agreement also requires the M23 to withdraw from occupied areas in the DRC as of November 27.
The agreement signed by the five participants in the mini-summit, including three current Heads of State, includes a specific timetable of binding measures to restore peace and security in Eastern DRC, including the disarmament and cantonment of M23 elements under the control of the FARDC, the EAC regional force, the ad hoc verification mechanism and Monusco.
The final press release of the Luanda mini-summit states: “The intervention of the Regional Force against the M23, in accordance with the requirements of the Nairobi Process and the report of the EAC Heads of State and Government meeting held in Bujumbura on November 8, 2022, in case of refusal by the M23 to cease hostilities and withdraw from the occupied territories.”
The mini-summit also demanded the cessation of all politico-military support to the M23 and all other local and foreign armed groups operating in the Eastern DRC and the region.
The release stipulates the continuation of permanent coordination at all levels between the Luanda Process and the Nairobi Process.
The Heads of State agreed to meet again soon in Bujumbura to evaluate the implementation of the conclusions of the resolutions and recommendations of the Luanda mini-summit.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a