Rebel groups fighting in Eastern DR Congo have finally agreed to lay down arms.
Former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, has just met the Chairman, senior political leaders and Military personnel of the M-23 group, in a series of ongoing processes to seek and restore peace in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In his capacity as the Facilitator of the East African Community’s pivoted process on restoration of peace in the Eastern region of the DR Congo Kenyatta met the M-23 leaders in the Northern parts of Kivu and managed to get their assurance in supporting peace initiatives.
The M-23 leaders agreed to continue with an orderly withdrawal and to adhere to a strict cease-fire.
They further agreed to continue to respect and cooperate with the East African Regional Force (EARF) that has now begun to take control of the areas vacated by the M-23.
This follows the decision of the extraordinary meeting of the EAC Chiefs of General Staff held in Bujumbura on 8th November 2022.
It is agreed that the withdrawal process would continue to be verified by both the East African Regional Force and the ICGLR Verification Mechanism.
That is to ensure the safety and swift return of all the displaced citizens and refugees to their homes.
Leaders of the M-23 gave President Kenyatta conditions to ensure that safety reigns in the DRC.
Plus the rights of all people in Congo are respected and that all the local and foreign armed groups fighting in eastern DRC also lay down their arms, cease any fighting or attacks on the M-23..
North Kivu has been the most volatile precinct in the ongoing skirmish in the entire eastern DRC.
The province is however now achieving progress with increased stability and security over the past four weeks.
Many people who had been previously displaced had now begun to return to their homes.
The Nairobi Process on peace and stability in Eastern DRC is a regional initiative intended to bring an end to the tremendous suffering and displacement that the area has been facing.
The M23 appreciated efforts of the EAC-Facilitator Uhuru Kenyatta plus his consultative approach with DR Congo President, Félix Tshisekedi,and Burundian leader Évariste Ndayishimiye, who is also the Chairperson of the Summit of EAC Heads of State.
They acknowledged with appreciation that the Nairobi lV consultations expected to commence in mid to late February 2023, will directly seek to consolidate all the considerable gains of the last few months and assist in bringing greater peace and stability to eastern DRC.