Rwanda, DRC foreign affairs ministers agree to "reinvigorate" Luanda and Nairobi peace processes #rwanda #RwOT


This follows talks between Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe, and DRC's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Gracia Yamba Kazadi, in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The "constructive and solution-oriented" engagement was facilitated by Tanzania and South Sudan, the two co-chairs of the ongoing retreat bringing together ministers from the member states of the East African Community (EAC).

Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe during the meeting in Zanzibar.

During the meeting, the two ministers are said to have demonstrated goodwill to resolve the existing conflict and endorsed a political solution as the best way out.

The talks were held in the presence of Ministers from Uganda and Kenya, and of the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of political affairs.

Also present at the meeting was Rwanda's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation James Kabarebe.

"The meeting took place in a constructive and solution-oriented spirit, and the ministers of the two neighbouring countries, who demonstrated goodwill, underscored the need for a political solution to the crisis in eastern DRC," Nduhungirehe said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) Sunday.

"In this regard, concrete decisions were taken to reinvigorate Luanda and Nairobi peace processes," he added without revealing details of the decisions taken.

Rwanda's Minister of State James Kabarebe during the meeting in Zanzibar.

The three-day retreat kicked off in Zanzibar yesterday and offers a unique opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions, share insights, and collectively strategize on ways to foster sustainable peace, enhance security cooperation, and strengthen relationships among partner states.

The retreat comes a month after President Paul Kagame urged the EAC Secretariat to convene the ministerial meeting as a matter of urgency to address existing security issues in the region.

Speaking during the 23rd extraordinary summit of EAC Heads of State early last month, President Kagame disclosed an offer by Tanzania President Samia Suluhu to host the meeting.

Rwanda and DRC have been at loggerheads over the conflict in eastern DRC, which some leaders argue poses significant security threats to the Great Lakes region.

The conflict between Rwanda and the DRC has deep historical roots, including issues related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the presence of the FDLR militia in eastern DRC. The FDLR militia comprises remnants of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Both countries accuse each other of supporting rebel groups that destabilize the region, but Rwanda denies any involvement.

Efforts under the Luanda and Nairobi processes aim to create sustainable peace by addressing these underlying issues through dialogue, regional cooperation, and comprehensive security arrangements.

The Rwandan government has on several occasions accused DRC leader Felix Tshisekedi of frustrating the peace initiatives.

"There are processes in our region. There is the Luanda process in Angola, and there has been the Nairobi process in Kenya. There have been other efforts to try and help resolve the problems. For Rwanda, we have always been present and have contributed as much as we can to make it work.

"However, Congo had other ideas. When the East African Community deployed forces to help, the next day, he expelled them and selected those he believed would fight for him to continue what he has been doing. He brought in SADC forces and detached Burundi from the East African forces," President Kagame said during a recent interview on France 24.

The engagement was facilitated by Tanzania and South Sudan, the two co-chairs of the ongoing retreat bringing together ministers from the member states of the East African Community (EAC).

Wycliffe Nyamasege

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