Democratic Republic of Congo Rebels M23 and the government of Joseph Kabila will today begin talks aimed at bringing an end to the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
They are to hold talks in Uganda’s capital Kampala, according to the spokesman of the rebel group’s political wing and Congolese Interior Minister.
Richard Muyej Mangez, DRC’s Interior Minister told French News agency AFP that the government would send leaders of key institutions, civil society leaders and members of the national assembly and senate to the talks that are expected to begin today.
This development comes in the wake of the rebels’ pull out of the DRC’s eastern city of Goma which they had captured late November.
The pull out of the rebels from the city was coordinated by neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda.
The two nations were last month accused by a United Nations group of experts of aiding the rebels, a charge the two nations deny.
Regional Leaders meeting in Kampala two weeks ago to try and find a solution to the crisis in the DRC called on the rebels to withdraw from Goma city and urged the Kinshasa government led by Joseph Kabila to address the rebels’ grievances.
The confirmation that the two sides are finally going to have face to face talks is good for the Congolese people and the wider region. The Congolese people have borne the brunt of decades of war that has claimed lives of millions in the mineral rich DRC and would not want a resumption of hostilities.
M23 rebels mutinied in April forcing an estimated 500, 000 people to flee their homes in the ensuing tension.