Uhuru speaks over DRC rebel movement launched in Kenya

Monday, December 18th, 2023 15:35 | By
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/(@4thPresidentKE)/X

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has criticised the launch of a rebel movement in Kenya against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Uhuru, who has been leading peace talks in DRC, termed the developments as shocking, calling for continued ceasefire to facilitate peace talks.

"Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Facilitator of the East African Community (EAC) led Nairobi Peace process, watched with shock and dismay at the developments of last Friday, the 15th of December 2023 in Nairobi, where individuals claiming to be pursuing the interest of greater peace and stability in the DRC initiated yet another political and military Alliance to challenge the legitimate political status quo in the DRC. The Facilitator repudiates these developments and in particular their military character, and the accompanying politically charged and provocative rhetoric," a statement from Uhuru's office read in part.

On Friday, December 15, 2023, Congolese politicians and groups including the M23 rebels, who have seized territory in eastern Congo, and Corneille Nangaa, a former Congo election commission chief, launched the Congo River Alliance in Nairobi.

VOA reports that Nangaa, who was sanctioned by the US for corruption and obstructing the 2018 election, said the alliance would bring together various Congolese armed groups, militias, social and political organizations.

"I am looking for a lasting solution; all communities must live together in Congo," Nangaa told Reuters on Saturday.

Uhuru on DRC ceasefire

On Saturday, DRC recalled its ambassadors from Kenya and Tanzania after the military alliance was launched.

"President (Rtd) Kenyatta restates his support for the US-brokered ceasefire and continues to seek its indefinite extension in order to facilitate the peace-building process, put an end to the senseless killing and suffering of the people of the eastern DRC, and set the stage for a resumption of the Nairobi peace process, and the brokering of a lasting peace in the troubled region of the eastern DRC," the statement from Kenya's former President added.

In a statement on Sunday, Kenya's Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, who doubles as the Foreign Affairs CS, said the government had launched investigations into the launch of the movement and the people involved.

"Kenya strongly disassociates itself from any utterances or activities likely to injure the peace and security of the friendly Nation of DRC and has commenced investigation to determine the identities of the makers of the statement and the extent to which their utterances fall outside constitutionally protected speech. Kenya further affirms its non-involvement in the internal affairs of DRC and commits to continue supporting the peace, security, and democratic consolidation of the country," Mudavadi stated.

Congo is due to hold presidential and legislative elections on December 20.

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