Uhuru Saves DRC After Securing First Win in Peace Talks

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during the closure of the EAC-Led Nairobi Process, on the restoration of peace and security in Eastern DRC on Tuesday, December 7, 2022

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta secured his first win in ending the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the rebel group M23 agreed to retreat. 

In a letter dated Tuesday, December 6, the rebel group indicated that it was ready to withdraw from occupied territory in the east of the country. 

The developments came hours after the former Head of State concluded the Nairobi Process, where he ratified several peace deals

M23 also indicated it was ready to support regional peace-making despite not being represented in the talks.

President William Ruto (left), his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and other leaders in Nairobi on Monday, November 28, 2022.
President William Ruto (left), Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye (centre) and special peace envoy Uhuru Kenyatta (right) at the Third Inter-Congolese Consultations of the Nairobi Peace Process on Monday, November 28, 2022.

"The M23 Movement confirms its maintenance of the ceasefire. Regarding the implementation of the said recommendations, the M23 is ready to start disengagement and withdraw, even though it was not represented in the said summit," read the statement in part. 

"The M23 reiterates its readiness to the direct dialogue with the DRC government in order to find a lasting solution to the root causes of the conflict in the Eastern DRC," the statement by the group spokesman Lawrence Kanyuka continued. 

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta embarked on his first international assignment immediately after handing over to President William Ruto as a facilitator in the DRC crisis. 

Three months into the process, the former president faced several obstacles in his quest for peace in the DRC, but the communique by the M23 can be seen as a significant step towards achieving his goal. 

An earlier meeting in Nairobi was called off under unclear circumstances before the Angolan President, João Lourenço, led the Luanda Process in his country the same week. 

However, the Nairobi Process resumed a week later, with Uhuru leading the talks in Nairobi. 

Another hurdle came when the former President accused organisers of the Nairobi Process of failing to provide allowances and taking care of the delegates. 

The former Head of State had to postpone the Nairobi Process until Tuesday, December 6, when the negotiations ended in Nairobi. 

File photo of members of the M23 Movement
File photo of members of the M23 Movement
TRT World