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East African Community to broker third round of DR Congo peace talks in Nairobi


East African Community to broker third round of DR Congo peace talks in Nairobi

DRC peace talks are underway as the security situation in the country's east worsens, with the M23 rebel group advancing on the city of Goma.
Photo: Kenny Katombe/Reuters

The East African Community (EAC) will  today broker a third round of talks on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The “peace dialogue” on the DRC will be held in Nairobi as multiple armed groups continue operations in the country’s east. Kenyan forces are already present in DRC’s eastern region, and a Ugandan contingent is expected to join them in the near future.

The East African Community’s armed force has been tasked with protecting the city of Goma in eastern DRC as M23 rebels advance towards the city. Last week, rebels clashed with the Congolese army in Mwaro, a village to the north of Goma. The country’s eastern region has been the site of conflict for decades as foreign rebel groups and over 100 local armed groups have fought amongst each other for control of valuable mines.

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The talks will take place in parallel with the Luanda process, another mechanism designed to establish peace in the region. Outside of the leaders of East African countries, it is unclear which other stakeholders will be present at the talks. Political processes and diplomacy are the top priorities with disarmament and demobilization of M23 as the complementary pathway to peace. Unsuccessful peace talks will lead to further destabilization in the region, potentially leading to a refugee crisis.

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