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Uhuru chairs consultative technical team meeting in DRC


A second Consultative Technical Team meeting involving various stakeholders of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Peace Process was held in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to discuss various issues highlighted in the Luanda and Nairobi processes.

The closed-door session on Wednesday majorly discussed matters of cantonment and confidence-building measures, among them warring parties in the eastern part of DRC.

In his opening remarks, retired president Uhuru Kenyatta who is the facilitator said the meeting, unlike others held outside DRC, had been convened in Goma as an indication of all stakeholders’ commitment to helping the Congolese people find lasting peace solutions to the conflict.

“The peace process is about the Congolese people, and therefore being in Goma instead of meeting in capitals outside of DRC is an indication of each and everyone’s commitment to finding a lasting peaceful solution to the problems that have afflicted this part of our neighboring country,” he said.

He further recognized the importance of all stakeholders working together as a team to find a peaceful resolution for the people of DRC.

He appealed to all the armed groups to cease hostilities and give dialogue a chance.

Leading the delegation of the DRC government was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Jean-Pierre Bemba, who joined the forum virtually and weighed in on the deliberations.

He reassured the platform of the government’s commitment to both the Luanda and the Nairobi Peace Processes.

The President’s Special envoy Prof. Serge Tshibangu, the Minister of State for Regional Integration, Mbusa Nyamwisi, and the North Kivu Governor, Gen. Ndima Kongba, echoed his sentiments.

Representatives of MONUSCO, led by Bintou Keita, reiterated their commitment to finding lasting peace in the war-torn Region.

Other organizations in attendance were East Africa Community (EAC), African Union (A.U.), The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), observers from various international organizations, and some members of the diplomatic Corps.

The EAC, Regional Force Commander Maj-Gen Alphaxard Kiugu, the MUNUSCO Ag. Force Commander Maj – Gen Benoìt Chavant and Col Timoteo Neves of the Adhoc Verification Mechanism were also in attendance.

Later the Facilitator, accompanied by the head of MONUSCO, Ms. Bintou Keita, Hon. Mbusa Nyamwisi, and other stakeholders handling issues concerned with Gender-Based Violence, who joined the meeting virtually, met with a group of women leaders who shared their concerns on the plight of women and children at the IDP camps.

They requested the Facilitator to look into these issues urgently and rally allies who can participate in women empowerment activities within the camps. They sighted the lack of economic empowerment as one of the issues that left women and children vulnerable in the camps.

Kenyatta assured the women that, as the Facilitator of the EAC – led Nairobi Peace Process, he acknowledged the concerns raised and assured them of his support.

He also urged the women to come together and develop mechanisms on how they, too, can play a part in finding peace.

“Women equally have a responsibility to work closely with us, to help establish a peaceful environment. They need to be our key agents of selling the language of peace as they are the greatest beneficiaries once that peace is established”, he emphasized.

He thanked the organizations working closely with the women and children, urging them to ensure they are protected and catered for relentlessly.