East African regional leaders have met to discuss the escalating security crisis in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) caused by the M23 rebellion, Chimp Corps report.
The EAC High Level consultative meeting held on Monday night in Shamar el Sheikh, Egypt, was chaired by the EAC chairman, President Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burndi.
Presidents William Ruto of Kenya, Hassan Suluhu of Tanzania and DRC Prime Minister, Sama Lukonde, attended the special session on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (COP-27.
the resolutions of the meeting remain unclear.
However, the meeting comes high on the heels of worsening relations between Rwanda and DRC over the armed M23 rebellion in North Kivu.
Both countries have put their armies on high alert as Kinshasa moves to push M23 fighters from their strongholds in Bunagana and neighboring areas.
Facing an election in 2024, DRC President Feliz Tshisekedi is under intense political pressure to defeat the M23 rebel group which Kinshasa says is backed by Rwanda.
Ligali denies the claims and instead accuses DRC of embedding FDLR militia in the ranks of Congo’s armed forces.
Ndayishimiye and the EAC Facilitatator on the Peach Process in eastern DRC, Uhuru Kenyatta last week met in Bujumbura where they agreed to strengthen the political process to resolve the security situation in North Kivu.
They agreed that while the force generation and deployment were in progress, the political track was being energized towards a comprehensive solution to the protracted security situation.
Uhuru and Ndayishimiye encouraged continued complimentary engagement between the EAC-Led Process and the Luanda Process to ease the tension between the brotherly states of DRC and Rwanda.
Tshisekedi on Thursday night directed the Congolese armed forces to set up 26 military training facilities across the country to facilitate mass mobilization and training of soldiers to counter the M23 threat.
“The war imposed on us by our neighbors (Rwanda) demands sacrifice form each of us, ” said Tshisekedi, adding, “It’s time to silence our political differences to defend all together, our mother land.”
He also urged youth to form vigilante groups to support the army’s operations against M23. The tense relations between the two neighbors have raised the prospect of an all out war.
Kigali yesterday protested the “provocation” of Kinshasa after a Congolese Sukhoi-25 fighter jet violated Rwanda’s airspace and briefly touched down at Rubavu Airport in Western Province.
No military action was taken by Rwanda in response, and the jet returned to DRC.