On Monday, November 28th, 2022, while virtually addressing the meeting of East African leaders on the restoration of peace and security in the Eastern DR Congo, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said illegal guns still in the hands of foreign and local armed groups are an impediment to lasting peace in the region.
This was during the EAC-led Nairobi Peace Process, and the third inter-Congolese dialogue that took place in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The main problem is the illegal guns in the DR Congo. These illegal guns have been there almost continuously since DR Congo’s independence,” President Museveni said.
President Museveni said foreign armed groups like the ADF from Uganda, the Interahamwe of Rwanda, and other groups from Burundi and Angola, the internal Congolese groups such as the Kodeko, M23, and Maimai, have all these years been killing Congolese and disturbing neighboring countries.
He notes that a combination of political methods would offer a lasting solution to the current situation, adding that political means start with dialogue.
The dialogue should be processed by a ceasefire where there’s active fighting and disengagement of forces, and a peaceful solution should be the outcome of the dialogue, the President said.
President Museveni stated that the internal Congo groups resulting from the prolonged weakening of state authority in that area (the eastern DRC) can be dealt with by combining political methods.
“Dialogue if necessary, then take military method if there’s any group that is adamant and doesn’t want peace. These armed groups causing insecurity can be defeated if we harmonize our efforts. If any Congolese group doesn’t respect the formula reached after the dialogue, the combined resources of East Africa will be brought down on them. No force can defy the combined efforts of East Africa,” the President said.
The President, however, noted that efforts in North Kivu and Ituri provinces have shown that we have the capacity to deal with these groups in spite of the difficult terrain, the forests, and so on.
H.E. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta were among the East African leaders who participated in the Nairobi Led Process.