BUJUMBURA November 29th (ABP) – The President of the Republic of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye has just participated in the Mini-Summit of Luanda, Angolan Capital, on peace and security in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo ) which was held on November 23, 2022. The final communiqué issued from that Mini-Summit specifies that the objective was to establish a timetable for the implementation of priority actions, with a view to the cessation of hostilities and the immediate withdrawal of movement 23 (M 23) from occupied Congolese localities. The Heads of State present at the meeting expressed their concern at the worsening insecurity and the persistent military actions of the M23. They expressed concern over the acquisition by the M23 of increasingly sophisticated weapons and other means to carry out attacks against the Armed Forces of the DR Congo as well as the persistence of negative and terrorist forces in the eastern region of that country which constitutes a threat to peace, security and stability in the sub-region.
According to this press release, the Mini-Summit decided that from Friday 25/11/2022 at 6 p.m., hostilities in general and M23 attacks against the FARDC and MONUSCO in particular must cease. It was decided to continue the full deployment. The M23 was asked to withdraw from the occupied areas and fall back to their initial positions. If the M23 refuses to cease hostilities and withdraw from occupied territories, the Regional Force will intervene against the M23. Explicitly the statement released indicates that “If the M23 refuses to disengage and liberate all the territories they currently occupy, the heads of state of the East African community will instruct the Regional force to use force to push them to submit “. The same statement calls for the cessation of all politico-military support to M23 and all local and foreign armed groups operating in eastern DR Congo. With regard to the M23, it was decided that their disarmament and cantonment will be done under the control of the Congolese armed forces and the regional force. With regard to the armed groups operating on the territory of the DR Congo, it was ordered to lay down the armed forces immediately and initiate their unconditional repatriation.
According to the final communiqué, the heads of state present decided that the displaced people should return to their homes and those political consultations between the government of the DR Congo and the local armed groups should resume. In that same framework, the Mini-Summit decided to resume bilateral dialogue between DR Congo and Rwanda with a view to normalizing diplomatic relations and cooperation. Note that the Mini-Summit brought together the President of Angola, Joao Manuel Gonçalves, mediator appointed to maintain the dialogue between the DR Congo and Rwanda, the Burundian Head of State and current President of the East African Community Evariste Ndayishimiye, the President of DR Congo, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Vincent Biruta, who represented Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, facilitator appointed by the East African Community for the implementation of the Nairobi peace process. We will also note the presence of representatives of the African Union and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) as guests.