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Calls for peace in DRC reverberate as EAC Heads of States meet

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The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State have called for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities commenced immediately in the Democratic Republic of Cong
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The seven members of the EAC have directed the regional force to move with speed to restore peace in D.R Congo, in the restive North and South Kivu as well as Ituri Provinces. 

The leaders were speaking during a Septet Summit and Third Conclave of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State on the peace and security situation in the eastern part of the   Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

The meeting also called for the withdrawal from recently taken positions in the Northern region of DRC.

Similarly, President Kenyatta directed the political process to be intensified by all parties in order to allow the citizens of the DRC to feel safe and secure and be able to pick up and continue their respective social, cultural, and economic activities.

The concave meeting comes as heavy fighting revives decades-old rivalry between DRC and Rwanda, with the mineral-rich DRC struggling to contain several armed groups in the east of the nation

President Kenyatta directed the regional security force to cooperate in the implementation of the disarmament and demobilization process. 

The leaders committed to contribute to reconciliation and lasting peace and determined to find a swift and lasting solution to the conflict in the DRC,  particularly in the North and South Kivu as well as Ituri Provinces.

The Heads of States appreciated the supremacy of the Constitution of the DRC and committed   to maintain a unified and secure country, with coherence and credible institutions of central government exercising full territorial authority and recognizing that peaceful means are the best way to resolve conflicts. 

The Conclave received a written brief on the political   track of the Nairobi process which detailed actions and activities that have been undertaken since the last convening of the second Conclave including the convening of the consultations with various armed and rebel groups within the DRC as a follow up to the consultations undertaken by the DRC with the rebel groups in Nairobi. 

The conclave agreed   and reinforced that trust and confidence-building, cessation of hostilities, unconditional ceasefire, participation in the political processes in the   country, prioritization and participation in the country’s development, citizenship, presence of foreign negative elements, fate of combatants during reintegration and status of refugees and internally displaced persons are among critical issues that require concerted, urgent and  durable resolution. 

The Heads of State also emphasisedthat all offensive  language, hate speech, threats of genocide and other politically inciting language must cease and must be discouraged by all parties and that the people of the DRC must be encouraged to work together in order to stabilize  the eastern DRC for it to prosper.

Regional force

Last week, President Kenyatta called for the cessation of hostilities between armed groups in Eastern DRC to facilitate its participation in the country’s political process.

He said the ongoing hostilities in particular threaten to undermine the ongoing political process (the political track) aimed at addressing the security situation in the region.

“I note, with concern, that recent developments including, open hostilities, create a serious threat to the success of the regional leadership’s work including the promotion of outcomes of the Inter-Congolese (DRC) consultations of the Nairobi Process,” said President Kenyatta.

The President called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities in the Eastern DRC and for all armed groups, both foreign and local, to lay down arms immediately and unconditionally and to commit to a political process,” he said.

He further called for the activation of the East African Regional Force under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC).

The Regional Force is a component of the military/security enforcement track provided for in the Communiqué adopted on 21st April 2022.

The President directed regional Commanders of the respective Defence Forces within EAC to finalize preparations to undertake the deployment of the Regional Force.

DRC joined the East African Community (EAC) officially in April as the 7th member with EAC Heads of States calling for peace in the country.

ln the same month, April, the East African Community Heads of State proposed a mechanism that aimed at facilitating the implementation of the country’s political and military and security enforcement tracks.

They directed all armed groups in the DRC to participate unconditionally in the political process to resolve their grievances.

The proposal was delivered by five Heads of State namely; Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Everiste Ndayishimiye of Burundi and their DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi at ‘The Heads of State Conclave on the Democratic Republic of Congo’ convened in Nairobi, Kenya.

“That the establishment of the regional force to fight the negative forces should commence immediately under the leadership of the DRC.” They said.

In a statement, the leaders were categorical that all foreign armed groups in the DRC must disarm and return unconditionally and immediately to their respective countries of origin.

“Failure to do so these groups would be considered as negative forces and handled militarily by the region,” warned EAC presidents.

The leaders further resolved to meet within one month to evaluate progress on the implementation of work.

Additionally, the leaders resolved to mobilize other East African Community leaders to join the conclave with a view to engage them in future sittings. They are also intent on welcoming the participation, in observer status, of a representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Secretary-General of the ICGLR, the Secretary-General of the East African Community, as and when called upon to participate by the DRC.

The meeting further resolved to bring on board bilateral interlocutors such as the United States and France in observer status, and that a Secretariat be formed to oversee the implementation of the agreements arrived at the meeting.

AU calls for peace

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat last week called for immediate cessation of all forms of violence by any armed group and of any military activity presenting any threat to either of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a statement, the Chairperson of the Commission strongly encouraged the two brotherly countries to resolve any differences through dialogue and fraternal consultation offered by the regional mechanisms.

In particular he cited those undertaken by João Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, and President of the Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), as well as the Nairobi process.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/uhuru-convenes-high-level-meeting-on-peace-and-security-in-drc/

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Gen. Buay rejects investigation committee on Mayom extrajudicial killings

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General Stephen Buay Rolnyang [Photo via Facebook]
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JUBA – South Sudan opposition commander and leader of the holdout South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A) Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang has downplayed impact of a recent investigation committee formed by President Kiir to investigate Mayom extrajudicial killings.

In July, fighting between rebel forces belonging to Buay and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces resulted in the killing of Mayom County Commissioner who was attacked and assassinated in his house at dawn on July 21.

The government responded by hunting down rebel forces and was able to convince Sudan to handover to them those who had fled to Sudan. Four opposition commanders who were handed over by the Sudanese authorities were later on executed.

The killing parked public outcry with President Kiir being urged by members of the public to remove the governor of Unity State Nguen Manytuil Wijang who is accused of direct involvement in the killing of the opposition commanders.

Kiir then formed a committee to investigate the rising insecurity in Unity State and told the committee to receive a report in a period not exceeding two weeks.

Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, General Buay said he doubts that something will be done by the committee, citing previous committees formed without tangible results.

“The SSPM/A has learned with great concern the formation of the investigation committee that was formed by the regime to investigate the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers who were kidnapped in Fula state, Sudan on 6 August 2022 and summarily executed in Mayom by the governor of unity state on 8 August 2022,” he said.

“It has been a tendency of the regime to form an investigation committee which usually ends up without any tangible results or outcome,” he added.

He said “Several investigation committees were formed by the President himself and the results were undermined and sabotaged and thrown into dustbin with good example of the recent investigation committee that was formed to investigate atrocities that were committed by allied militias and SSPDF forces in South of Unity state, therefore, the investigation committee ended up without any tangible results. So, this investigation committee is not exceptional.”

General Buay further alleged that army generals who were involved “in the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers have been secretly sent to Khartoum by Hon. Tut Gatluak pretending to be sick to avoid investigation committee.”

These, he said, are General Joseph Manyuat, General Bol Mayak, and General Michal Makal Kuol Majak.

 

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South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi

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NEW YORK – South Sudan has rejected Morocco’s request for it to severe diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, saying it supports the position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) on the matter.

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state, recognised by 41 UN member states, located in the western Maghreb, which claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of that territory.

On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol met and held discussions with the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the 77th regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

 

 

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, how to advance the interests of Africans, advocate for peace, security and supporting more than a decade-old policy in which they supported the continental body’s call for free self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

The meeting between the two leaders angered the Moroccan government, which protested in a letter it sent to the South Sudanese embassy in the North African country.

However, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry informed the Kingdom of Morocco government that “the meeting between our delegation and the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs does not negate our strategic bilateral relations with the kingdom.”

“The Republic of South Sudan is a member of the African Union and the United Nations and would want to reiterate that it does not see it fit to have contrary views to the position of the African Union and UN [Security Council] Resolution 690, as a viable engagement framework to find a lasting solution over the dispute on Western Sahara”, it added.

Juba further said it has not deviated from supporting the AU and UN’s position which insists the Sahrawi people be allowed to decide their future.

“South Sudan’s leadership and the government position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is fully supportive of the decision of the Organization of African Unity turned African Union to admit SADR to its membership on 22nd August 1982, and the AU Charter which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination,” stressed the ministry’s statement.

In 2017, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI visited South Sudan and held talks with President Salva Kiir aimed at “promoting friendship and solidarity” between both nations. The visit came at the time Morroco was seeking support to return to the AU.

Foreign policy experts, however, argue that the position of South Sudan would have backpedaled a decade-old policy in which African countries generally support calls for a referendum in a region Morocco claims is part of its territory.

 

 

 

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MoH deploys Ebola response team at southern borders

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Team of health workers deployed at the border towns of Nimule. (Photo: Mabior Kiir).
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The national Ministry of Health has deployed a technical team of 15 health workers to areas bordering Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor and screen travelers amid the new Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, the ministry’s undersecretary said a five-member team is heading to Yambio of Western Equatoria State.

The health personnel include public health officers, lab technicians, case management surveillance officers and infection and preventing control officers.

“The ministry of health is very determined to make sure that there are precautionary measures in place to make sure Ebola doesn’t enter to the country,” said Anib.

“On top of it, we want to send a message to people to adhere with measure by washing hand If any person develops symptoms of fever or suspects any symptoms, he should report it to the nearest health facility.”

Dr. Victoria who spoke to reporters upon the departure of the doctors from Juba Airport, revealed that the ministry has also dispatched similar five-member team to Yei and another to Nimule.

Team of specialists deployed in Yei to conduct surveillance on Ebola Virus Disease. (Mabior Kiir).
She said the health professionals will launch precautionary measures center to monitor suspect Ebola cases.

On Tuesday, health authorities in Uganda declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

So far, 31 confirmed and suspected cases, and 19 deaths have been reported by Uganda’s health ministryOn Friday, President Kiir’s cabinet meeting allocated 500,000 US dollars as funds for mitigation and prevention of Ebola following reported outbreak of the virus in Uganda early this week.

Via Eyeradio

 

 

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