East African Leaders To Hold Talks On DR Congo Unrest
Muhammad Irfan Published February 03, 2023 | 11:47 PM
East African leaders will meet in Burundi on Saturday for a summit on the conflict in eastern DR Congo, officials said
Nairobi, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Feb, 2023 ) :East African leaders will meet in Burundi on Saturday for a summit on the conflict in eastern DR Congo, officials said.
The talks are being hosted in Bujumbura by the regional East Africa Community grouping, which has been leading mediation efforts to end the resurgent fighting in the restive east of the DRC.
"Agenda: Evaluation of the Security Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo & Way Forward," the EAC said on Twitter on Friday as it announced the summit.
A Congolese presidency official said President Felix Tshisekedi would attend the talks.
But it is not yet known which other leaders will go from EAC countries, which in addition to the DRC and Burundi includes Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Militias have plagued eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for decades, many of which are a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and the early 2000s.
Since November 2021, a rebel group known as M23 rebels have also seized swaths of territory in the turbulent region and come within miles (kilometres) of its main commercial hub Goma.
The DRC accuses its smaller central African neighbour Rwanda of backing the M23, something UN experts, the United States and other Western countries agree with.
Kigali denies the charge.
Last week, Qatar had planned to host a meeting between Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but diplomats said the Congolese leader refused to attend.
Tensions between the two countries were exacerbated last week when Rwandan forces opened fire at a Congolese fighter jet they said had violated Rwandan airspace.
The EAC decided to create a military force to pacify eastern Congo last year, with the first troops arriving in the regional capital Goma in November.
The troops are permitted to use force to dislodge M23 fighters but they have not yet done so.