Delegates, on Monday, December 5, walked out of the ongoing Democratic Republic of Congo peace talks in protest of unpaid allowances, temporarily halting the process.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is leading the negotiations between the DRC’s government and rebel groups, postponed the closing ceremony of the week-long peace talks due to the disruptions.
The Congolese delegates were reportedly irked after the organisers failed to pay allowances, with some arguing that they received varying amounts.
President William Ruto (left), Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye (centre) and special peace envoy Uhuru Kenyatta (right) at the Third Inter-Congolese Consultations of the Nairobi Peace Process on Monday, November 28, 2022.
Uhuru acknowledged that the delegates were unfairly treated and pinned the blame solely on the organisers.
“I am disappointed to say the organisers of this meeting, known as Nairobi will have a problem.
“We cannot advocate for peace when the people coming from the deep forests of DRC travel to Kenya without their welfare being secured,” the former Head of State lamented.
He, nonetheless, promised to ensure action is taken against the rogue organisers and the raised grievances addressed.
“I’m aware that there are enough funds for this process, and I want to assure you that those of us who have done this, I won’t name them because they are one of us and we know who they are…we will deal with your personal matters before getting down to the business that brought us here,” the former president cautioned.
The delegates who walked out of the process included government representatives, local representatives and various rebel groups mainly drawn from the Eastern DRC.
This was the second time when Uhuru’s mediation was disrupted. In early November 2022, the special envoy complained about the humanitarian crisis in Goma, DRC, which he argued, slowed down the process.
On November 12, Kenya deployed soldiers to the eastern DRC to help foster peace in the troubled region.
President William Ruto also attend the first peace talks organised in Nairobi on, Monday, November 28.
President William Ruto (second left), his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye (second right) in Nairobi on Monday, November 28, 2022.