President William Ruto has called on leaders from the East
African Community (EAC) to urgently address the conflict in the Eastern
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He said the situation remains fluid as civilians bear the brunt of the conflict.
So dire is the state of affairs that the President said at least 27 million people are in acute need of humanitarian aid.
President Ruto called for the immediate convening of the Nairobi-IV session of the Inter-Congolese Consultations as a follow-up on Nairobi-III.
The President made the remarks on Saturday in Bujumbura during the 20th Extra-Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State chaired by President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.
The one-day meeting brought together Presidents Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), Félix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), a representative of Salva Kiir (South Sudan) and the host.
Under Nairobi-IV, President Ruto proposed, more local armed groups be contacted and engaged.
“… more actions shall be undertaken in furtherance of the commitments already reached with those armed groups which participated in Nairobi-I, II and III.”
He said that even as the Nairobi IV plans are laid down, it will be essential to sustain the momentum built and the goodwill accrued from the Nairobi processes.
He commended armed groups which have come forward to express willingness to lay down arms and participate in the Programme on Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration and Community Stabilisation.
“This signals the recognition that the time has come for the people of the DRC to work together in unity and build a secure, stable and prosperous nation.”