President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda arrived in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, on Sunday ahead of today’s East African Community (EAC) Heads of State conference to tackle the DRC conflict (DRC).
President Uhuru Kenyatta convened a meeting with Museveni and other EAC leaders to examine the security situation in the eastern DRC.
Museveni wrote, “I have arrived in Nairobi, Kenya for the 3rd East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Conclave on the peace and security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).”
Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda are members of the EAC conclave, which was established to promote negotiation between rebels and the Congolese government.
In a statement announcing Monday’s meeting, President Kenyatta, the current chairman of the EAC, stated that people in the eastern DRC “had long suffered and continue to pay an inordinately hefty price in loss of lives, property, and elusive peace.”
Two scoping and mapping talks with international and local armed groups involved in the DRC have taken place in Nairobi in the last two months.
The third meeting takes place as intense combat reignites decades-old enmities between Kinshasa and Kigali, with the DRC blaming Rwanda for the M23 rebel group’s recent comeback.
Rwanda has denied supporting the rebels on numerous occasions, while both governments have accused one other of cross-border shelling.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for a regional EAC force to be sent in eastern DRC to restore peace on Wednesday, but Kinshasa indicated it would not tolerate Rwanda’s participation.
The EAC’s regional commanders met on Sunday to finalize preparations for the deployment of the unified force, according to reports.