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Uhuru Kenyatta hosts EAC meeting to discuss DR Congo conflict

Monday June 20 2022
The unveiling of the new EAC map after DR Congo signed the Treaty of Accession to the EAC.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Felix Tshisekedi, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame and EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki at the unveiling of the new EAC map after DR Congo signed the Treaty of Accession to the EAC. PHOTO | PSCU

By PARTICK ILUNGA
By AFP

The East African Community (EAC) leaders will be in Nairobi on Monday for a meeting convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The EAC conclave, whose members are Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, was set up to encourage dialogue between rebels and the Congolese government.

Read: Congo rebels: Our terms to disarm

People in the eastern DRC "have long suffered and continue to pay an inordinately heavy price in loss of lives, property and elusive peace," President Kenyatta, the current chairman of the EAC, said in a statement announcing Monday's meeting.

Over the past two months, two scoping and mapping consultations with foreign and local armed groups active in the DRC have been held in Nairobi.

The third meeting comes as heavy fighting revives decades-old animosities between Kinshasa and Kigali, with the DRC blaming neighbouring Rwanda for the recent resurgence of the M23 rebel group.

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Rwanda has repeatedly denied backing the rebels, while both countries have accused each other of cross-border shelling.

On Wednesday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for the deployment of a regional EAC force in eastern DRC to restore peace, but Kinshasa said it would not accept Rwanda's participation in the operation.

Read: Uhuru wants boots on ground in DRC

Also read: DRC agrees to EAC force deployment without Rwandan army

Regional commanders of the EAC were expected to meet on Sunday to finalise preparations for the deployment of the joint force.

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