Uhuru calls for end of hostilities in DRC as w*r worsens

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 14:22 | By
Uhuru calls for end of hostilities in DRC as war worsens
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/Courtesy

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for a cessation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amid a deteriorating security situation in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, January 25, the former Kenyan Head of State, who is the facilitator of the East Africa Community (EAC) led peace process in DRC, said he is deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation in North Kivu.

Uhuru said the fight between various armed groups as well as between the FARDC and the M23 was alarming.

He condemned what he termed as targeted killing of civilians and displacement resulting from two days of fighting in the region.

"Once again the Facilitator calls for cessation of all hostilities and adherence to the Luanda Agreements and a return to the Nairobi Peace Process on consultations to build peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo," he said.

Uhuru's statement came hours after Rwanda Defence Forces shot and inflicted serious damage to a Congolese fighter jet on Tuesday evening.

Rwanda confirmed the incident yesterday, saying the Congolese Sukhoi-25 violated their airspace for the third time in as many months.

“Today (Tuesday) at 5:30pm, a Sukhoi-25 from the DR Congo violated Rwanda airspace for the third time. Defensive measures were taken. Rwanda asked the DRC to stop this aggression,” a statement by the Rwanda government read in part.

In November, Uhuru expressed hope of finding a lasting solution to the conflict in DRC.

Speaking at the East Africa Community (EAC)-led Third Nairobi Peace Process at Safari Park hotel in Nairobi on November 30, 2022, Uhuru stressed that Congolese were peace-loving people and that the conflict was 'brought' to them by outside players.

"Najua tutafaulu kwa sababu nyinyi sio watu munapenda vita, ni vita mumeletewa. Wakongomani ni watu wa amani," Uhuru said.

The former Kenyan President further exuded confidence that the Third Nairobi Peace Process was the one that would find the solution to the Congo conflict.

"Nairobi hii ndo itatoa suluhu," Uhuru said.

The Nairobi meeting brought together armed groups from eastern DRC, representatives of the local communities, civil society groups and government officials.

Thousands of people have been displaced in the volatile eastern region of DRC as fighting between the country's military and M23 rebels moved close to the key city of Goma.

The M23 was formed in 2012 claiming to defend the interests of Congolese Tutsis, a group sharing the ethnicity of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, against Hutu militias.

DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting M23 leading to a diplomatic tiff between the two countries.

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