• World - Africa
  • Updated: January 25, 2023

Ex-Kenyan President Appeals For End To Escalating Violence In Congo

Ex-Kenyan President Appeals For End To Escalating Violence I

Ex-Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya's former President Uhuru Kenyatta appealed on Wednesday for an end to violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, whose mounting problems have sparked diplomatic tensions between the DRC and Rwanda.

Kenyatta is acting as an intermediary in the dangerous region's dispute on behalf of the EAC's seven member states.

He "expressed deep concern over the sharply deteriorating situation" in North Kivu where fighting has broken out "between various armed groups, the Armed Forces of the (Democratic) Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the M23," his office said in a statement.

The statement was issued a day after Rwanda opened fire on a fighter plane from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which the Kigali administration said had breached its airspace.

Kinshasa denied that one of its planes had passed over Rwanda and charged Kigali with attacking the plane in what it called "an act of war."

Although Kigali disputes the claim, the DRC, along with the US and several other European nations, has frequently accused Rwanda of supporting the Tutsi-led M23 rebels.

Kenyatta did not mention the warplane incident but instead urged "cessation of all hostilities" and adherence to the peace agreements reached during negotiations in Nairobi, Kenya, and Luanda, the capitals of Angola and Kenya.

"Expressing serious concerns for the targeted killings of civilians by armed groups and thousands of internally displaced people resulting from the two days of fighting in the region, the facilitator has once again called for the cessation of all hostilities," the statement said. 

Local authorities said on Monday that suspected members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed at least 23 people over the weekend in the Beni region of North Kivu province.

The Islamic State organization, which recognizes the ADF as its affiliate in central Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least 14 people were killed and 63 were injured when a bomb in a church in North Kivu was set up by suspected ADF members a week earlier on January 15.

Numerous armed organisations, many of which are left over from two regional wars that took place at the close of the 20th century and left millions of casualties, roam the east of the mineral-rich DRC.

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