Uhuru urges rebels in DR Congo to lay down weapons & embrace peace talks

Kenyatta said Kenya would not tire in pushing peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo

President Uhuru Kenyatta with DRC President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on armed rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo to lay down weapons and work with the country’s president Felix Tshisekedi to build peace and stability in the country.

Speaking during a virtual Inter-Congolese Peace Dialogue convened by Kenya, president Kenyatta argued DRC would not prosper nor benefit from the nation's rich mineral if they don't embrace peace.

Kenyatta lauded the efforts being put by the government of DR Congo and the armed groups in trying to reach a peace deal adding that a nation cannot be built on a foundation of conflict and insecurity.

The head of state said Kenya would not tire in pushing for peace in the DRC and will always respond whenever reached out to.

“The historical call to be our brothers’ keepers is a bell that has been tolling and to which Kenya always keeps responding. We will not relent in your pursuit of peace for prosperity. This is why we reached out to you, our brothers, our sisters of the DRC,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State used Kenya’s constitution ( 2010) as well as the 2018 handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as examples of what sacrifices from leaders can bring to a nation.

“Just to give two examples, our promulgation of the 2010 new Constitution as well as my 2018 Handshake with my rival in the last election, all called for steep sacrifices from our leaders and also from our people,” President Kenyatta stated.

DR Congo which is newest member of the East African Community through president Tshisekedi said that they are ready to engage in talks with the rebel groups. He added that the security of the armed groups is guaranteed.

“I understand the different reasons that dew you to take up arms. However, to develop our country, we need to build and sustain national defence forces and police that are keen to defend the daughters and sons of DRC,” President Tshisekedi said.

Leaders of over thirty armed rebel groups have accepted to lay down weapons while others are still in talks on conditions for laying down weapons.

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