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Mudavadi issues statement on Kenya's position amid diplomatic row with DRC

DRC reacted swiftly to the creation of a new alliance dubbed Alliance du Fleuve Congo (Congo River Alliance), bringing together opposition politicians and rebel groups that was announced in Nairobi.

File image of President William Ruto of Kenya and President Felix Tshisekedi of DRC

Kenya has distanced itself from allegations of interfering with the internal affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in what is turning out to be a diplomatic row with media reports indicating that DRC has recalled its envoy to Kenya, John Nyakeru and summoned Kenya’s envoy to Kinshasa, George Masafu.

DRC reacted swiftly to the creation of a new alliance dubbed Alliance du Fleuve Congo (Congo River Alliance), bringing together opposition politicians and rebel groups that was announced in Nairobi.

Former Chairman of DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) Corneille Nangaa accompanied by M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa announced the formation of the alliance which also targets the military, civil society organizations, and the diaspora community, is motivated by the desire to “save our country from danger and to restore the dignity of the people of Congo.”

“Based on Article 64 of our constitution, we launch on this day a call for unity among all political, social, and military forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have decided to work together to establish a force for rebuilding the State to address the root causes of recurring conflicts, ensuring lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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“Our platform is to be known as the Alliance Fleuve Congo (Congo River Alliance).” Nangaa declared as reported by Capital FM.

Mudavadi issues statement on Kenya's stand

Reacting to the reports, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi who doubles as the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary dismissed claims of interference with the internal affairs of DRC in a statement issued on Sunday, December 17, 2023.

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"The Ministry of Foreign & Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Kenya refers to press reports that some nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo claiming association with rebel groups within DRC addressed a press conference in Nairobi and made statements that are prima facie inimical to the constitutional order of the Democratic Republic of Congo," Mudavadi stated.

"The Ministry wishes to note that Kenya is an open and democratic state where freedom of the press is vouchsafed. As such, nationals and non-nationals may engage the Kenyan media without reference to the government.

"Kenya strongly disassociates itself from any utterances or activities likely to injure the peace and security of the friendly Nation of DRC and has commenced investigation to determine the identities of the makers of the statement and the extent to which their utterances fall outside constitutionally protected speech. Kenya further affirms its non-involvement in the internal affairs of DRC and commits to continue supporting the peace, security, and democratic consolidation of the country." Mudavadi added in the statement.

DRC is set to hold its presidential elections on December 20, 2023 with the incumbent, President Felix Tshisekedi eyeing another term.

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