African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki has welcomed the move by East African presidents to deploy a regional force to deal with insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a statement, AU Commission said the chairman welcomed “the outcome of the Second Heads of State Conclave on the Democratic Republic of Congo”, which was held on April 21, in Nairobi, Kenya, “particularly the decision to immediately deploy a regional force to restore peace and stability in the DRC”.
Faki commended President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Eastern Africa leaders for their efforts towards finding a sustainable solution to the situation in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region.
The meeting was attended by presidents Félix Tshisekedi (DRC) Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), while Paul Kagame was represented by the Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincet Biruta.
The leaders resolved that the regional force would help contain and where necessary, fight the negative forces.
“Towards this end, the meeting directed that planning for such a force commence with immediate effect with the full consultation of relevant authorities in the region…To facilitate the implementation of the political and military/ security enforcement tracks the leaders also directed the following,” the communique said.
Th eleaders also agreed that all armed groups in the DRC should participate unconditionally in the political process to resolve their grievances and failure to do so, they would be considered as negative forces and handled militarily by the region.
The meeting also ordered all foreign armed groups in the DRC to disarm and return unconditionally and immediately to their respective countries of origin.
“That failure to do so these groups would be considered as negative forces and handled militarily by the region,” the dispatch by State House Kenya added. Kenya is facilitating the engangements.
The meeting also welcomed the participation, in an observer status, of a representative of the United Nations Secretary General, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Secretary General of the ICGLR, the Secretary General of the East African Community, as and when called upon to participate by the DRC.
Faki additionally said the 1078th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on April 19 on the outcome of the 10th Regional Oversight Mechanism Summit was welcome.
He further reaffirmed that AU’s commitment to the full implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement for the DRC and the region, as one of the guarantors of the agreement.