Uhuru hopeful of lasting peace in DRC
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed hope of finding a lasting solution to the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (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.
Third inter-Congolese consultations
The meeting happening in Nairobi is dubbed the Third inter-Congolese consultations of the Nairobi Peace Process.
Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who is also the chairperson of the EAC summit, officiated the opening session held at Safari Park on November 28.
The Nairobi meeting brought together armed groups from eastern DRC, representatives of the local communities, civil society groups and government officials.
Retired President Uhuru is the East Africa Community peace facilitator in the talks aimed to restore peace in the eastern DR Congo.
Nairobi III comes after the official visit of Uhuru to Kinshasa and Goma, DRC, for the Mini-Summit on Peace and Security in DRC.
It is a follow-up to the inaugural peace Nairobi meeting held in April and the second one held at Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu in DRC.
This culminated in the 22nd ordinary session of the EAC where Uhuru was picked to lead the process.
Even though EAC is pushing for a peaceful means of resolving the conflict in Congo, the regional block will not hesitate to use military action to achieve the goal as it has already deployed forces in DRC.
President William Ruto on September 24, 2022, maintained that the government would deploy KDF troops to the eastern part of the DRC to ease conflict in the region.
Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi on November 12, 2022, flagged off the first batch of KDF soldiers who were deployed for the peace-keeping mission.
The second batch comprising 200 KDF soldiers left for DRC on November 16.
KDF soldiers are deployed in Goma in the eastern part of DRC where the M23 rebels have been intensifying their attacks in recent days.
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.
Clashes picked up again in North Kivu province on Friday, November 11, 2022, even as Uhuru was in Kinshasa pushing for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
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.