East Africa: Museveni, Kenyatta Discuss Regional Mission for DR Congo

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday, February 7, received former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for a discussion about regional peace efforts for DR Congo.

Kenyatta is the facilitator of the East African Community’s peace process for eastern DR Congo, a region that is home to more than 130 armed groups.

Museveni said on the X platform that with Kenyatta they discussed the recent developments in the eastern DR Congo.

This afternoon at State House Entebbe, I met with the Facilitator of the EAC-led Nairobi Peace Process, H.E. President (Rtd) Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the regional mandate alongside recent developments in Eastern DRC. pic.twitter.com/lH6JwAiDnH— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) February 7, 2024

Museveni and Kenyatta’s meeting comes less than a month after a US-brokered ceasefire by the government-led coalition and the M23 failed to hold and fighting flared up again in North Kivu, one of the provinces of the eastern region that has been volatile for nearly three decades.

The EAC-led peace initiative known as Nairobi process has been in a stalemate for months as the conflict continues.

The Congolese army is accused of integrating militias whose members the government was supposed to disarm and demobilise as part of the Nairobi process.

The fourth round of dialogue between the Congolese government and a host of armed groups was initially slated for February 2023, but a year has elapsed without a clear way forward.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, reports between the government coalition and M23 said fighting was approaching Goma city, the province’s capital, though the rebel group said it “has no intention” to take control of the city.

Museveni and Kenyatta met less than two months after an EAC regional force withdrew all its troops from eastern DR Congo after the Congolese government refused to renew its one-year-old mandate in the troubled east.

Observers said the regional force’s withdrawal over misunderstandings with Kinshasa was “premature” and that it undermined the regional efforts to seek peace.

The EAC says it is still committed to the efforts to restore peace and security in eastern DR Congo.

On January 26, as the regional force commander officially concluded the mission by handing back the EAC flag back to the Secretariat, Secretary General Peter Mathuki said his office would “seek to strengthen its ability to respond to peace and security challenges” the eight-member bloc faces.

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