The East African presidents are in Kenya for the third East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Conclave on Inter-Congolese Dialogue of the Nairobi Process on the Peace and Security Situation in Eastern DR Congo.
The presidents include; President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan) and Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo).
President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania is represented by ambassador to Kenya, High Commissioner John Stephen Simbachawene.
“As the Co-Convener of the Peace Process and Chairperson of EAC, the meeting is an acceleration of ongoing regional efforts to attain sustainable peace and security in Eastern DR Congo,” Kenyatta said
According to Museveni the crisis in Congo needs a collective approach from all regional members of the East African Community. “We must insist on working together because these people have suffered a lot,” he said.
Since January, North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the DRC have been engulfed by insecurity and unrest. The situation remains unpredictable and complex. Thousands of Congolese have since sought refuge in Uganda.
The insecurity is being fueled by the M23 rebels and the allied democratic Forces (ADF). Last year, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) have been carrying out operations to weed out ADF terrorist in the Eastern part of the county.
Since the launch of operations in November 2021, the joint forces captured over 34 ADF terrorists, killed and injured scores of them. Last month, the DRC renewed UPDF’S contract maintaining its presence in Felix Tshekedi’s country.
The two Forces are currently engaged in road construction and rehabilitation works to facilitate and further secure the movement of soldiers and the displaced civilian population, particularly on Mbau- Kamango and Mobili axes, Kamango-Semuliki- Beni.
Over the weekend, authorities in DRC accused Rwanda of being behind M23 operations terrorizing Congolese.