Armed Groups Boycott Nairobi Peace Talks On Conflict In DR Congo

A DR Congo gov’t representative said some armed groups were present but the dialogue had to be postponed because many of the armed groups’ leaders could not make it due to logistical reasons.

The consultative dialogue between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and armed groups in the country that was scheduled to take place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday, April 22, did not take place as representatives of armed groups failed to attend.

But the DR Congo government spokesperson said the absence of the armed groups’ leaders was due to logistic reasons without expatiating further.

HumAngle learnt that the peace talks have been postponed to a later date.

“Certain (armed) groups were here but we want an inclusive meeting. Many of them are still in the bushes. There is no speculation about that. The talks would continue later,” a government source told HumAngle.

“A working group would be formed by President Tshisekedi to continue with the next steps in Nairobi. Some persons among his collaborators present in Nairobi were received and were briefed on the head of state’s vision concerning their mission.”

Before his return to Kinshasa, President Tshisekedi held talks with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Meanwhile, while the DR Congo government continues to insist that the consultative dialogue would take place, some members of the opposition in Kinshasa said the efforts would fail because some of the armed groups invited to participate have nothing to do with Congolese problems.

Martin Fayulu, one of the leading members of the opposition, blamed President Tshisekedi for failing to impose the authority of the state throughout the country and castigated the president for a certain amount of passivity concerning the affairs of state.

“It is inadmissible to allow Mr Felix Tshisekedi to hand over the country into the hands of instrumentalised armed groups,” Fayulu said, adding that “the incompetence of those who have usurped the power of the people is about to weigh heavily on the future of our country”.

No new date has been fixed for when the talks would take place.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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