The past week for the Eastern region of Africa has been very nerve-racking, owing to an impending war between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Kenya has already pledged its allegiance to the DRC side, noting that it has its commercial interest to protect in the country Troops have been deployed, and finances have been set aside to service said troops. Read the story here.
Fortunately, East African leaders have announced the commencement of peace talks before tensions escalate. They hope to stabilize the DRC, where M23 rebels clashed with troops just north of its key city of Goma over the weekend.
Army sources disclosed that the Congolese military came to blows with the M23 in Mwaro, a village about 20km (12 miles) north of Goma, a commercial hub of one million people.
The peace talks will involve the seven-nation East African Community and would begin on the 21st of November 2022.
According to an Al-Jazeera report by Malcolm Webb, “The Congolese army North Congress army, says that they’re fighting soldiers from Rwanda and Uganda. The rebel group is widely understood to be a proxy of Rwanda, although Rwanda denies it. And so, people have fled…to try and get away from the fighting.”
“Meanwhile, community leaders on the other side of the frontline have told us that about 60,000 people are stuck behind the front line in the territory held by the M23 rebel group and that they want a humanitarian corridor to be created so they can leave that area before the fighting gets closer to them.”
The conflict between Congo and Rwanda stems from a suspicion that Rwandan authorities are secretly supporting the M23 rebels. However, Rwanda has denied the accusation.
The M23 rebels of late have been gaining ground against the Congolese army, recording victories against the army and capturing territories.
Earlier this month, the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission in the DRC withdrew its troops from the eastern military base of Rumangabo, giving more ground in the battle against the M23.