East African leaders warn foreign armed groups to leave DR Congo
Apr 22, 2022 - 02:17 AM
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Foreign armed groups must leave the Democratic Republic of Congo and return to their countries or face military action, leaders from the DRC, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda’s foreign minister warned Thursday.
The decision was made in Kenya’s capital Nairobi at a private meeting hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta of regional heads of state from the DRC (President Felix Tshisekedi), Uganda (President Yoweri Museveni), Burundi (President Evariste Ndayishimiye) and Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta at State House, Nairobi on the ongoing bitter conflict in eastern DR Congo.
In a communique issued after the meeting, the leaders decided that “all foreign armed groups in the DRC must disarm and return unconditionally and immediately to their respective countries of origin. That failure to do so, these groups would be considered as negative forces and handled militarily by the region.”
The leaders also agreed that in order to promote peace, stability and development in the eastern DRC and the greater East African region they had agreed to invite leaders of the East African Community to join the conclave and to engage them in future sittings.
They welcomed the participation, in observer status, of a representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, the secretary-general of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the secretary-general of the East African Community, as and when called upon to participate by the DRC.
The president of the DRC will chair the consultative meeting on April 22.
President Kenyatta agreed to host and provide logistical support for the consultations in Nairobi.
The meeting further agreed that the president of the DRC would subsequently inform his colleagues of the outcome of the consultations at the next sitting.