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Eastern DRC Face Clashes As Uhuru Kenyatta Pursues ‘dialogue’ Initiative

According to a military source, on 14th November 2022, troops and rebels traded heavy fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the East African Community’s mediator, called for all armed groups to “silence the guns” in efforts to end the war between DRC forces and M23 militants.

Government forces and the M23 militia were fighting in Kibumba, about 12 miles North of the strategic city, Goma.

M23 fighters were also seen about 40 kilometres Northwest of the city in the Virunga National Park, a wildlife haven famed for its mountain gorillas which is also a hideout for armed groups, the sources said.

“The Rwandan army and its allies from the M23 don’t stop, every passing day, launching assaults on our different positions in Kibumba,” said Lt. Col. Guillaume Ndjike, the army spokesman for the Eastern North Kivu Province.

On Sunday, the 13th of November 2022 the heads of the seven nations forming East African Community (EAC) announced they would hold a “peace dialogue” on the region’s conflicts.

“All groups that currently bear arms should lay those arms down and choose the path of peace through dialogue,” said EAC’s mediator, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Monday, 14th November 2022.

“Silence the guns and join in a political process,” he urged local armed groups. 

He arrived in Kinshasa the day before to hold consultations ahead of 21st November 2022 peace talks in Nairobi. 

To foreign groups, “the DRC is no longer the battleground for problems that are not from this country,” Kenyatta added. 

“There is nothing that can be gained through the barrel of a gun.”

Angolan President Joao Lourenco who is exploring another diplomatic path, met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Friday and with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Saturday. 

 

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