By HELLEN GITHAIGA
Rwanda President Paul Kagame and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi are meeting in Nairobi for the first time since Kinshasa accused Kigali of supporting the M23 rebels who are wreaking havoc in eastern DRC.
The gathering at State House Nairobi is the third Conclave of the East African Community on DR Congo conflicts convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Other Presidents present are Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Burundian Evariste Ndayishimiye and Salva Kiir of South Sudan. Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu is represented by her High Commissioner to Kenya John Stephen Simbachawene.
Kigali has repeatedly denied backing the rebels.
On Wednesday, President Kenyatta called for the deployment of a regional EAC force in eastern DRC to restore peace, but Kinshasa said it would not accept Rwanda’s participation in the operation.
The EAC military chiefs met on Sunday, ahead of the Presidents’ meeting, to finalise preparations for the deployment of the joint force. The EastAfrican has learnt that their report has been tabled to the Heads of State by Kenya’s chief of defence forces.
The EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki is also present.