Talks on DR Congo crisis in Kenya make minimal progress
NAIROBI, Kenya - The Democratic Republic of Congo's crisis talks in Nairobi, Kenya have just made minimal gains after a week-long dialogue.
The third crisis talk that ended on Tuesday has seen just 53 out of 120 rebel groups operating in eastern DRC agreed to down their arms for peace.
While speaking during the closure of the week-long dialogue, former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta- the facilitator of the EAC-led Nairobi Process said the resolutions arrived at during the meeting will be seeking to address issues that can be addressed within the short term.
“We are happy with the progress; we are not saying we have completed everything but we have managed to achieve some milestones in terms of specific issues that will be undertaken by DRC and others that will be done by the delegates who are here.”
The former head of state also called upon the armed rebel groups to protect women and children.
Kenyatta “The stories I have heard from women are shameful and evil. A man that commits such acts against a woman is not a human being but an animal. Let us tell our sons to respect and protect our women and children. I have no interest in your minerals or forests but I need you to respect your women and advise your sons to do so too.”
After the Nairobi talks focus now shifts to the Goma and Bunia dialogues that are set for January and February 2023 where the progress of the resolutions will be assessed.
“We want to see the implementation of the low-hanging fruits by January then we can get to the deeper issues which require more time, more consultation, and deliberations with partners because the medium- and long-term aspects are not things that EAC or DRC can do on their own. They require support from development partners,” confirms Kenyatta.
All the armed groups represented in the meeting signed the communique alongside the facilitator and his two envoys — Kenya’s Macharia Kamau and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s special envoy, Prof Serge Tshibangu — as a sign of commitment to implementing the resolutions.
Earlier, Mr. Kenyatta thanked the East African Community (EAC) secretariat for addressing participants' concerns over allowances.
The facilitator of the EAC-led Nairobi Process also expressed hope that the M 23 rebel group will honor the requirements of the Luanda process, among them ending current hostilities and exiting from Rutshuru, Kiwanja, and Banagana before he can meet with them.
“If they meet those requirements, then they shall be part of the process and will join the rest in the ongoing peace efforts,” he assures the M23 rebel group.
However, Kenyatta demanded that other foreign armed groups in eastern DRC must leave the country and engage their home countries on whatever grievances they have. “Congo must not be the place where other countries fight,” he affirms.