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Rwanda: DR Congo Crisis – Minister Biruta in Luanda for Talks

Foreign Affairs minister Vincent Biruta on Wednesday, November 23 attended the mini-summit on the security crisis in eastern DR Congo.

The mini-summit taking place in Luanda, Angola was attended by Presidents João Lourenço, the host, Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the facilitator of the East African Community-led peace process.

According to President Ndayishime’s office, the summit is taking place behind closed doors.

The second Luanda summit on DR Congo security was convened five months after the first one designed a roadmap for the pacification of eastern Congolese provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri.

Eastern DR Congo is home for over 120 armed groups, who are accused of various abuses, according to the United Nations.

Currently, the Congolese armed forces are fighting against the M23 rebel group in North Kivu.

President Lourenço, who chairs the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), serves as the mediator between Rwanda and DR Congo, whose relations have soured, following claims by Kinshasa that Kigali supports the M23 – allegations Kigali denies.

The Luanda roadmap, under the ICGLR, one of the two regional mechanisms established to bring peace to eastern DR Congo.

The other is the EAC-led Nairobi process, in which the Congolese government holds peace talks with the many armed groups.

Attempts to resume the Nairobi talks failed earlier this week, with the Kinshasa government demanding the M23 to withdraw from occupied territories – a concession the rebels have dismissed.

The EAC resolved to deploy troops to the restive region. Kenya has already deployed 900 troops and Burundian and Ugandan contingents are set to arrive soon.

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