The East African Community (EAC)-Led Nairobi Process -3rd Inter-Congolese dialogue In attendance, got underway Monday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The dialogue aims at accelerating ongoing regional efforts to attain sustainable peace and security in Eastern DRC as elaborated by various efforts of EAC Heads of State The Inter-Congolese dialogue has been re-energized and incorporates consultations amongst armed groups in Eastern DRC, local community leaders, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, to find sustainable solutions to the protracted security situation.
The President of the affected nation of the DRC, H.E Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo who addressed the dialogue virtually, said his country is committed to supporting the efforts of the EAC member states to end insecurity.
“The time to change the narrative of DRC having protracted insecurity is now! We are committed to the EAC- Led Nairobi Process and long for peace, so we can rebuild the great Democratic Republic of Congo,” the DRC President said.
The President of the Republic of Burundi who is also the current Chairperson of the East African Community, H.E Evariste Ndahishimiye, also called upon leaders to step up efforts to bring peace in the region.
“We are cognizant of the high expectations the region & international community has in this process. I am appealing to all Partners to commit to supporting initiatives aimed at promoting peace and consolidating stability in the region,” he said.
This was re-echoed by the lead facilitator of the EAC – Led Nairobi Process, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, the former President of Kenya.
“No effort should be spared in restoring peace and security in Eastern DRC. Kwa wana-DRC, Amani itatoka kwenye nyinyi wenyewe! Tuungane!” H.E. Kenyatta said.
The President of Kenya, H.E William Ruto, said the pursuit of peace is an inevitable precondition for the prosperity of East Africa and reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to supporting the restoration of peace in Eastern DRC.
“Our security and progress is dependent on that of the region. The pursuit of peace is thus an inevitable precondition for our prosperity,” said Ruto.
The President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame, who also attended virtually, welcomed the swift response in seeking to restore peace in Eastern DRC, saying Rwanda is committed to the process of addressing the root cause of insecurity in Eastern DRC once and for all.
“We need to address the root cause of insecurity in Eastern DRC once and for all. We welcome EAC’s swift response in seeking to restore peace in Eastern DRC. Rwanda is committed to this process,” said Kagame.
The EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki, also addressed the dialogue saying the EAC remains committed to supporting the restoration of peace and security in Eastern DRC as elaborated by various efforts of EAC Heads of State.
“EAC remains committed to supporting the restoration of peace and security in Eastern DRC. For our brothers and sisters from Eastern DRC, your presence here to dialogue is a dividend of the entry of the DRC into the EAC Family, so please feel at home and engage each other with unity of purpose,” noted Mathuki.
According to a joint communiqué, the leaders called on all local armed groups in eastern DRC to embrace consultations, lay down their arms and join the political process.
The leaders also emphasised the urgent need for unconditional disarmament and the departure of foreign armed groups from the territory of DRC.
They noted with concern the dire plight of refugees and internally displaced persons in eastern DRC and within the region and reaffirmed the urgent need for the restoration of peace that will allow for the voluntary return and settlement of refugees.
Also joining virtually were representatives from the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of South Sudan. Further in attendance were observers from the African Union, and United Nations, and invited members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to the Great Lakes region, H.E Huang Xia was also physically in attendance.
The Inter-Congolese dialogue will run up to 3rd December and involve consultations amongst armed groups in Eastern DRC, local community leaders, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
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