A new series of consultations to find a lasting solution to the violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have begun in Kenya.
The peace process, one of two currently going on, began in the Kenyan capital Tuesday Nov 29, according to an announcement by the presidency of the DR Congo.
Delegations from the various armed groups and local communities are taking part in the consultations.
The UN Stabilisation force in Eastern DR Congo, known as MONUSCO and the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region believe these consultations could open the way to armed Congolese groups to get involved in the national programme for disarmament, demobilisation and community upliftment as well as stability.
Speaking during the opening of the consultations, President of the DR Congo Felix Tshisekedi, through video call, recalled the position of his government saying “we would not surrender to blackmail or illusory pretensions of these terrorists under foreign manipulation and who have no choice but to get involved in the strict line of action contained in the final communique of the mini-summit of Luanda of November 23, 2022 which calls notably for the cessation of hostilities, the return to their positions of November 2021 and the integration into the disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion programme”.
“Only on these conditions would they integrate these consultations within the context of the Nairobi process as the other groups”, the DR Congo president declared.
Another strand of talks have been organised by the President of Angola, and are known as the Luanda Process. President João Lourenço convened a talks last week that ended in agreement by all parties present to agree to a ceasefire.
The March 23 movement, the main rebel group in the area, was not present at the talks, but so far the ceasefire appears to be holding.
DR Congo accuses neighbouring Rwanda of supporting the rebels. Rwanda, a signatory of the ceasefire order, denies this.
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