Drama ensued on Monday evening after representatives of armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stormed out of the closing ceremony of the Nairobi Peace talks citing unpaid allowances.
The seven days dialogue attracted more than 40 representatives of armed groups, civil society organizations, survivors of the conflict, and government officials among others.
The dialogue held at the Safari Park hotel in Nairobi is meant to explore ways of restoring peace in eastern DRC where more than 120 armed groups are fighting.
However, as Kenya’s former president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the main facilitator of the dialogue was giving his giving closing remarks, representatives of armed groups stormed out protesting nonpayment of their allowances and demanding their immediate transportation back to DRC.
They also claimed that they were not properly engaged in the week-long peace process. Kenyatta tried to calm them down in vain. This forced Kenyata to postpone the closure of the dialogue to later today to address the concerns of the delegates. Kenyatta says that if the concerns are not addressed, he will ensure that no more funds are released for the peace talks.
“I would like to postpone this meeting and ask we meet here tomorrow [Tuesday]. We know we have enough funds, and I know, because I was one of the people who helped source the money to help in bringing peace to the DRC,” Kenyatta pleaded.
The March 23 Movement (M23), one of the major rebel groups was never represented at the dialogue after declining to abide by Luanda resolutions to withdraw from Rutshuru, Masisi, and Nyiragongo territories and converge at the hills of Tchanzu and Runyoni.
Source: The Observer