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AU envoy calls for increased humanitarian support in eastern DRC

Facilitator of the EAC-led Peace Process in Eastern DRC, Uhuru Kenyatta, arrives in Kinshasa. Photo via @jumuiya

Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s African Union (AU) peace envoy, has called for increased humanitarian support to the residents in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where fighting has led to the loss of lives and property as well as mass displacements.

Kenyatta, the former Kenyan president who is also the East Africa Community (EAC) facilitator of the Nairobi Process on Peace and Stability in eastern DRC, emphasized that the situation requires urgent intervention by the international community.

Kenyatta, who made an official visit to Goma in the eastern DRC on Tuesday as part of his outreach sessions with stakeholders, called on the international community, and humanitarian organizations such as UN agencies, to urgently and impactful respond to assuage the terrible distress and human suffering.

“It is critical that this situation is resolved to allow for the facilitator to fully engage the EAC regional force to take their rightful positions and allow for the humanitarian situation to be resolved with utmost urgency,” he said in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Wednesday.

Kenyatta was on his way to visit a camp of internally-displaced people near Goma when he was confronted with tens of thousands of internally displaced persons on the roadsides.

The AU envoy also expressed concern that his work has been severely hampered by the unfolding dreadful humanitarian crisis in and around Goma, and it is virtually impossible for him to fully realize the potential of his role when the fighting and the wholesale displacement of towns and villages is ongoing.

He further observed that the terms of the Nairobi Conclaves, agreed upon by all EAC Heads of State, which outlined that the fighting forces would remain in the positions that they were at the time of the Nairobi Conclaves, have not been honored by the rebel groups and their backers.

Kenyatta noted that the humanitarian crisis is now unfolding as a result of non-adherence to recommendations agreed upon in Nairobi during the Heads of State Conclaves.

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