Kagame expresses optimism over regional talks on DR Congo

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Kagame expresses optimism over regional talks on DR Congo
Kagame expresses optimism over regional talks on DR Congo

Africa-Press – Rwanda. President Paul Kagame has expressed optimism in the Nairobi process and Luanda roadmap, which were initiated to restore peace in eastern DR Congo, saying that they could “bear good results.”

President Kagame made the observation as he addressed virtually the third round of inter-Congolese dialogue which commenced on Monday, November 28, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

For nearly three decades, Eastern DR Congo has been the home of over 120 local and foreign armed groups, who are accused of various abuses, leading to a protracted security and humanitarian crisis.

“This situation has negatively impacted our region, including the issue of hundreds of thousands of Congolese refugees who are unable to safely return to their homes, as well as impeding trade and investment with negative implications to the whole region,” Kagame said.

“The primary reason for this persistent crisis is the failure to implement the many agreements that have been reached at various levels and at different times in past years. I most sincerely believe this time around these efforts are going to bear good results.”

Currently, the Congolese armed forces FARDC are faced with an offensive of the M23 rebels, who relaunched attacks in May this year and the first since 2013.

Nairobi peace talks, facilitated by the East African Community, bring together the Congolese government and the many armed groups to seek a lasting solution to the security crisis in eastern DR Congo.

The Luanda roadmap, mediated by Angolan President João Lourenço, was initiated in order to normalise relations between Rwanda and DR Congo.

Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting the M23, allegations Rwanda dismisses. Kigali instead accuses the Congolese army of colliding with FDLR, a terrorist group whose members are accused of genocide crimes in Rwanda.

ALSO READ: Luanda summit calls for FDLR disarmament, M23 withdrawal

“The recent resurgence of one armed group, among many others, has received a lot of attention globally and this comes on top of other unresolved security and political challenges,” Kagame said.

“We therefore welcome the region’s swift response and the robust mechanisms being established to save lives in eastern DRC and address the dangerous escalations that threaten neighbouring countries including Rwanda.”

President Kagame also said that the root causes of the insecurity in eastern DR Congo should be addressed in order to reach lasting peace.

“What is needed today more than ever is steady political will to implement the ongoing regional initiatives, particularly the East African Community-led Nairobi peace process and the African Union mediation by President Lourenço of Angola,” he said.

“This should include seriously addressing the root causes of insecurity once and for all, which will make a real difference in resolving the security concerns of DRC and neighbouring countries.”

He commended the efforts of regional leaders and the decisions made at last week’s summit in Luanda, calling the initiative “a real opportunity to find a durable solution.”

“It is therefore in the interest of all of us to stay the course and not let the situation be a perennial problem. On this, you can count on Rwanda’s full support toward a lasting and permanent solution,” he said.

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