NAIROBI – Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was forced to cut short the planned closing ceremony of the Nairobi process of the DR Congo peace-talks after a section of rebel groups staged a walkout over unpaid allowances.
Uhuru, who called for better handling of arising issues including unpaid allowances and terms of engagement calling for the warring sides to unite on Tuesday and conclude the crucial talks. He castigated the masterminds behind the walkout.
The drama on Monday evening show representatives of certain rebel groups stormed out of the closing ceremony for the Nairobi peace talks citing unpaid allowances.
“I would like to postpone this meeting and ask we meet here tomorrow (today),” he said, adding: “We know we have enough funds and I know because I was one of the people who helped source the money to help in bringing peace to the DRC.”
“I am also aware that some of these (who walked out) believe that I no longer have powers to sanction them…….but I will talk to their leaders and let met here,” added Uhuru.
The seven-day long dialogue attracted more than 40 representatives of armed groups, civil society organizations, survivors of the conflict, and government officials among others.
The dialogue held at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi is meant at exploring avenues of restoring peace in eastern DR Congo where more than 120 armed groups are fighting. However, as Kenya’s former president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the main facilitator of the dialogue was giving his giving closing remarks, representatives of armed groups stormed out protesting non-payment of their allowances and demanding their immediate transportation to DR Congo.
They also claimed that they were not properly engaged in the week-long peace process. Kenyatta tried to calm them down in vain. This forced Kenyatta to postpone the closure of the dialogue to later today to address the concerns of the delegates. Kenyatta says that if the concerns are not addressed, he will ensure that no more funds are released for the peace talks.
Meanwhile, M23 – one of the major rebel groups declined to participate in the Nairobi dialogue after disagreeing with the Luanda resolutions to withdraw from Rutshuru, Masisi, and Nyiragongo territories and converge at the hills of Tchanzu and Runyoni.
But Gen Jeff Nyangah, the commander of the Kenyan troops deployed in the Eastern DR Congo vowed that M23 will never take control of Goma City. Nyangah is heading hundreds of troops deployed under the East African Community member states to end insecurity in the area.