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President Kenyatta calls for cessation of hostilities in DRC

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities in the Eastern DRC and urged all armed groups, both foreign and local, to lay down arms immediately and unconditionally and to commit to a political process.

In a statement released from Statehouse on 15th June 2022, the president said recent developments including, open hostilities, create a serious threat to the success of the regional leadership’s work including the promotion of outcomes of the Inter-Congolese (DRC) consultations of the Nairobi Process.

“The hostilities in particular threaten to undermine the ongoing political process (the political track) aimed at addressing the security situation as provided for under the 21 st April 2022 Communiqué; I, therefore, call for an immediate cessation of all hostilities in the Eastern DRC and for all armed groups, both foreign and local, to lay down arms immediately and unconditionally and to commit to a political process.” Said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta further called for the declaration of Ituri, North Kivu (Bunagana, Bugusa, most parts of Petit Nord, Masisi, Lubero, Beni-Kasindi main axis) and South Kivu provinces as a WEAPONS FREE ZONE, where any individual or group carrying weapons outside the official and legally deployed and mandated forces in the country will be disarmed.

he called for the activation of the East African Regional Force under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC) a component of the military/security enforcement track also provided for in the Communiqué adopted on 21st April 2022. “In this regard, the meeting of the regional Commanders of the respective Defence Forces, cooperating in the Nairobi Process, scheduled for Sunday 19 th June 2022, in Nairobi, should finalize preparations to undertake the deployment of the Regional Force.” he said

The East African Regional Force he said shall be deployed to the Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces immediately to STABILIZE the zone and ENFORCE peace in support of the DRC security forces and in close coordination with MONUSCO and will work with local provincial authorities to support an orderly and permanent disarmament process under the Programme de Disarmament, Demobilisation, Relevement Communautaire et Stabilisation (P-DDRCS) in order to create enabling conditions towards stability and peace in the eastern DRC.

“I appreciate the diplomatic and political support that the Inter-DRC consultations (the Nairobi Process) has received from the international community including the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and bilateral partners. I also thank the partners for demonstrating their commitment to a peaceful outcome and urge them to remain engaged and supportive moving forward.” Said Kenyatta.

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