Kinshasa, June 22nd, 2022 (CPA).- The President of the Republic, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, returned to Kinshasa on Tuesday after a two-day working stay in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, where he participated in the 3rd Conclave on the security situation in the eastern part of the DRC, at the invitation of his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta. The Head of State was accompanied to this Conclave by the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense and his Special Representative. This summit is the third in the series (after those of April 8 and April 21) since the accession of the DRC to this sub-regional community.
Deployment of the regional force without the Rwandan army
In Nairobi, the 3rd Conclave on the situation of peace and security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), held on Monday, approved the imminent deployment of the regional military force in the east of the country, but without the participation of the Rwandan army, learned the CPA from the Presidency, citing a well-connected source at the Presidential Palace in Nairobi. The Presidents of the member countries of the East African Community, Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Félix Antoine Tshisekedi (DRC), Salva Kir (South Sudan), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda), including the President of Tanzania, Samia Suhulu, represented by her ambassador, Dr John Steven Simbachawene, examined the contours of this future force which will be placed under the military command of Kenya. They have worked; it is reported, on its size and the duration of the deployment of this Eastern Regional Force, under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC), promising that other operational information will be the subject of a specific subsequent communication. In the communiqué sanctioning this 3rd Regional Conclave on the DRC, the Heads of State of the East African Community (E.A.C) endorsed this decision, in the series of measures aimed at promoting peace, stability and development in the east of the DRC and in the greater region of East Africa. “This East African Regional Force should immediately be deployed in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, to stabilize the areas and impose peace, in support of the loyalist forces of the DRC, and in close coordination with MONUSCO,” the statement noted.
Ituri, North and South Kivu declared “Weapons-free zones”
The Heads of State further declared, “the provinces of Ituri; North Kivu (Bunagana, most regions of the Petit Nord, Masisi, Lubero, main axis Beni-Kasindi) and South Kivu, “Zones sans armes” where any individual or group bearing arms, apart from loyalist forces and legally deployed and mandated in the country, will be disarmed”. After a day of discussions with sometimes very tense sequences, the 6 Heads of State, guests of the Kenyan President, also noted, with satisfaction, the significant progress of the political process in Nairobi where the consultations carried out by the joint DRC- Kenya are doing well. “The Regional Force will work with provincial and local authorities to support the orderly and permanent disarmament process, within the framework of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization Program (P-DDRCS), in order to create the conditions for stability and of peace in the East of the DRC », notes the text elsewhere.