East Africa

Kagame, Tshisekedi meet for first time since fresh fallout

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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.

Read: Uhuru hosts EAC meeting to discuss Congo conflict

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President Uhuru Kenyatta receives Rwandan President Paul Kagame at State House Nairobi on June 20, 2022. PHOTO | PSCU

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.

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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.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta receives Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi at State House Nairobi on June 20, 2022. PHOTO | PSCU

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.

Read: Uhuru wants boots on ground in DRC

Also read: DRC agrees to EAC force deployment without Rwandan army

The EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki is also present.

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