Former President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, December 6 convened the official closing session of the Nairobi process of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) peace talks.
This came after an earlier planned event failed to take place due to several delegates walking out in protest over unpaid allowances.
In a twist of events, in his introductory remarks, Kenyatta quipped that he was pleased that matters were handled prudently by the secretariat.
“I am not angry, I can see that the issue we had yesterday has been sorted out, and we are grateful, to our colleagues from the secretariat of the East African Community, kindly if we plan and promise on issues, let us stick by them so that we do not disrupt the process because of poor logistics, these delegates are here for the peace process and we must accord them better hospitality, he revealed.
The week-long event in Nairobi began on Monday, November 28, and brought together over 50 armed groups, victims of atrocities taking place in eastern DRC, civil society, special interest groups and government officials.
Kenyatta, the peace envoy shared with the delegates a raft of resolutions he had agreed on with DR Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.
Release of individuals arrested by virtue of their tribe and Lack of Criminal Records- Kenyatta stated that a committee will be formed together with religious; leaders to look into the names of the individuals to fast-track their release.
Involvement of communities living in the nearby forest areas to be employed as forest wardens, to protect the forest and their participation in eco-friendly projects with the government.
Rebels lay down their weapons and join the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Reintegration and Stabilization Program (P-DDRCS)program and be enjoined in projects to develop their country.
Stakeholder meetings with Mining Companies; by December or early January, a meeting in Kinshasa with companies in disagreement with communities living around mine areas until a solution is brokered to resolve the impasse.
Army Recruitment; There will be a process for joining the army through the P-DDRCS program in recruiting army personnel as is used in normal processes.
Interrogation of the P-DDRCS Program; there will be further engagement with the national government to build consensus in the implementation of the program.
Kenyatta maintained that for the peace process to succeed, all stakeholders involved should help actualize these priorities in order to enhance a lasting solution in the peace process.
On the issue of armed groups from other countries being involved in Congo, Kenyatta alluded that they will consult with the leadership of these countries to withdraw their troops and have Congolese people live in peace.
“We know that Congolese people are peaceful people, friendly and welcoming but you want your visitors not to use the window but the front door, thus the issue of groupings from other countries through the leadership of their countries to withdraw and leave Congolese people in peace,” Kenyatta affirmed.
He further revealed that the next meetings should happen in Goma and Bunia to assess whether the initiatives they are employing are bearing results or not.
“We have decided that by January or February, we will have two meetings, not in Nairobi, one in Goma and another in Bunia so as to asses matters on the ground, our deliberations will be in Congo, we will be your guests, not the other way round,” he added.
Kenyatta urged the delegates to foster peace amongst themselves and embolden the spirit of dialogue and consultations through their community leaders and elders.
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