Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed concern over what he described as a serious violation of the Nairobi Principles and the Luanda Agreement in the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kenyatta who is the facilitator of the EAC-Led Nairobi Process on the Restoration of Peace and Stability in DRC made the remarks Tuesday when he convened an urgent consultation with the East Africa Community (EAC) Technical Advisors to the Office of the Facilitator to review the situation in the Central African nation.
“The meeting was necessitated by the deteriorating security situation in eastern DRC, particularly in Ituri and North Kivu, where the serious escalation of fighting and targeted killings is reported to be taking place,” read a statement released by the secretariat
Following the advice of his Technical Advisors, Kenyatta called for calm and the immediate cessation of hostilities.
He further appealed for an urgent return to dialogue and consultation in order to promote trust and confidence among the parties to the conflict and alleviate the suffering of the people in eastern DRC.
“The Facilitator remains committed to the course of building peace in eastern DRC and continues to call on regional leaders and the international community to lend their political goodwill and support to the full realization of the EAC-Led Nairobi Peace Process for the Restoration of Peace and Stability in eastern DRC,” it said.
Early this month, Kenyan forces deployed by the East African Community (EAC) in the troubled eastern DR Congo have overseen the takeover of the strategic territory of Rumagambo, 42kms North of Goma town, after the withdrawal of M23 rebels.
The rebels gave back the key military base during an event witnessed by a delegation from the Ad Hoc Committee and the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism led by Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Emmanuel Kaputa.
“The takeover signifies yet another critical milestone in the ongoing efforts to bring peace and stability to Eastern DRC, he said.
The M23, a largely Congolese Tutsi militia, first leapt to prominence 10 years ago when it captured Goma in 2012, before being driven out and going to ground.
But it re-emerged late last year, claiming the DRC had failed to honor a pledge to integrate its fighters into the army, among other grievances.