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EAC leaders agree to deploy regional forces in DRC to fight insecurity

The second heads of state conclave on the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo via @StateHouseKenya

Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | Five African countries on Thursday resolved to deploy a regional force to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to fight a rebel insurgency in the country.

The presidents from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, DRC, and Rwanda who met in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya for the second regional Heads of State conclave, directed that planning for such a force commence with immediate effect with the full consultation of relevant authorities in the region.

The presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, Felix Tshisekedi of DRC and Paul Kagame of Rwanda represented by foreign minister, directed all armed groups in the DRC participate unconditionally in the political process to resolve their grievances.

“That failure to do so, all Congolese armed groups would be considered as negative forces and handled militarily by the region,” the leaders warned in a communique released at the end of the day-long meeting.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group linked to ISIL (ISIS), is considered the deadliest of dozens of armed militias that roam the mineral-rich eastern DRC.

The leaders who took note of the situation in eastern DRC and of neighboring countries called on all foreign armed groups inside the DRC to disarm and return unconditionally and immediately to their respective countries.

The meeting noted that a consultative dialogue between the president of the DRC Felix Tshisekedi and the representatives of local armed groups in the DRC is to take place at the earliest possible time.

The meeting thus agreed that the DRC president will chair such a consultative meeting on Friday in Nairobi and that the Kenyan president agreed to host and provide logistical support for the consultations.

The meeting further agreed that the president of the DRC would subsequently inform his colleagues of the outcome of the consultations at the next sitting.

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Xinhua

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