New mini-summit on DRC starts in Luanda

Luanda – A new regional mini-summit started Wednesday in Luanda aimed to adopt a Joint Action Plan (JAP) for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and bring the country’s relations with Rwanda back to normal.

Attending the meeting heads of State (or their representatives) of Angola, João Lourenço; Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye; the DRC, Antoine Tshisékédi; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Vincent Biruta, as well as the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru Kenyatta is attending the event as a peace facilitator for the east of the DRC appointed by the Community of East African States (EAC).

The meeting was convened by President João Lourenço, in his capacity as mediator of the African Union (AU).

Participants are seeking ways to address the crisis prevailing on the border between DRC and Rwanda, since the resurgence of the 23 March rebellion, (M23), in eastern region of DRCongo.

The meeting’s agenda includes adoption of a JAP for the Settlement of the Dispute in the Eastern Region of the DRC and the return to normal of the political-diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries of the Great Lakes region.

Prior to the presentation and adoption of the draft JAP, proposed by the Angolan mediator, the participants will be informed about the evolution of the processes in Luanda and Nairobi, led, respectively, by João Lourenço for the African Union and by Kenyatta for the EAC.

The two processes (Luanda and Nairobi) are recognised at regional level and the UN Security Council as being of political-diplomatic and political-military essence, respectively.

They (processes) should be implemented in parallel in a complementar regime with the sole objective of solving the common border conflict between DRC and Rwanda.

The Action Plan to be approved at the meeting is part of the Luanda Process and was proposed as an adaptation of the already existing Roadmap for Peace in Luanda.

Meanwhile, the Nairobi Process is embodied in the organisation of direct negotiations in the Kenyan capital between representatives of the Congolese Government and dozens of armed groups with a view to their disarmament and peace in the country.

Also, within the framework of the Nairobi Process, the deployment of a regional force for East Africa created last June during a summit of heads of state and government of the EAC is underway.

The first contingents present on the ground come from Burundi and Kenya, deployed respectively in South-Kivu and North-Kivu, two provinces in eastern Congo region.

The Angolan mediation recently decided to propose changes to the Luanda Roadmap to adapt it to the new reality that has emerged on the ground, with the intensification of military confrontations in the North-Kivu region, east of the DRC.

The latest reports on the ground point to an advance by the M23 towards Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, after violent clashes with units of the DRC’s Armed Forces (FARDC) and the capture of new locations by the rebels.

As result, several civilians have been killed and injured, as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced people and refugees in neighbouring Uganda, in the midst of a serious humanitarian situation.

Source: Angola Press News Agency