Nairobi, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT & XINHUA | Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has today hosted the EAC Heads of State Conclave on Inter-Congolese Dialogue of the Nairobi Process on the Peace and Security Situation in Eastern DR Congo.
Today’s Heads of State high-level meeting hosted by Chairperson of EAC, is an acceleration of ongoing regional efforts to attain sustainable peace and security in Eastern DR Congo
In attendance were East African Community (EAC) counterparts Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan) and Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo) at State House. President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania was represented at the meeting by the country’s ambassador to Kenya, High Commissioner John Stephen Simbachawene.
It comes after a week of rising tension in eastern DRC, with the government accussing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels.
The UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sunday condemned new targeted attacks on several of its positions by rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).
Several positions of the mission were hit Sunday by at least six mortars in the Shangi area of the northeastern North Kivu province, according to the mission.
Attacks targeting UN peacekeepers “can constitute a war crime under international law,” the top UN envoy in the DRC tweeted via the mission’s Twitter account.
The mission also promises to continue all possible efforts to protect civilians and help deliver needed assistance to displaced populations, according to the tweets.
Since late March, M23 has been on the offensive in the North Kivu province, with thousands of civilians displaced by ongoing fighting.
Kenyan President Kenyatta has called for an immediate deployment of a new regional military force led by the EAC to try to stop rebel violence in eastern DRC.
The rebel group announced in early April its withdrawal from the villages it had taken earlier in the Rutshuru territory.
The group consists of former rebels of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) and got its name from the March 23, 2009 agreement between the CNDP and the Congolese government.
M23 leaders have accused the government of failing to respect the agreement.