5 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The heads of state of the East African countries have agreed at the summit held this past Saturday in Burundi to promote the peace process in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by proposing a new “matrix” of initiatives, accompanied by the ratification of a cessation of hostilities by both the Congolese Army and the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels.
In a statement ratified by the Congolese president, Félix Tshisekedi, and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, representing the two countries at war over this conflict, those attending the Bujumbura summit called once again for the “immediate cessation of hostilities for both parties” and “strengthening the political process” to negotiate the final end of hostilities.
Likewise, the heads of state report on the meeting, within a week, of the military leaders of the countries involved to “recommend an appropriate matrix for the application” of the future terms of the definitive cessation of the conflict in the Kivu region. North.
The African leaders have also ratified their support for the road map agreed in Luanda (the capital of Angola) between the DRC and Rwanda to resolve the open diplomatic crisis after the Congolese president accused his Rwandan counterpart of supporting the great offensive led by the M23 in the region; accusations that Rwanda has categorically denied.
The conflict has intensified even more in recent weeks, after the armed group and the Congolese Army resumed fighting on January 25, especially in the towns of Bwiza and Kitchanga.
Two days later, the rebels captured this last town and continued advancing, after generating a new exodus of the population estimated at 122,000 people who fled their homes in a single day, before the conquest of the armed group, according to Save the Children. Approximately 520,000 people have left the fighting zone since the start of the rebel offensive in November 2021.
The top diplomatic officer of the European Union, Josep Borrell, has applauded the conclusions of the summit and, through a message on Twitter, has called “all parties to respect all the commitments made at this summit”.