Congolese are said to be expressing frustration over the
failure of Sunday's regional heads of state summit to come up with a credible
solution to the security situation in the eastern part of the country. Leaders
of the Southern African Development community (SADC) meeting in Johannesburg
Sunday called for calm in the country and pledged to send peacekeepers to
maintain peace in the DRC. Meanwhile, the United Nations said fighting
continued Sunday as rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda clashed with
pro-government militias leading to a dramatic increase in the number of
internally displaced people in the restive North Kivu Province.
Kahora is the VOA correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He
tells reporter Peter Clottey from Goma, the capital of north Kivu that
Congolese are disappointed with the regional body's inaction.
the summit was called, most people in eastern DRC were expecting peace coming
to the region, but this was not the case. The same day the summit was taking
place we were in Kibaki camp, which is located at some 10 kilometers in the
north of Goma. And most of the IDP'S (Internally Displaced Persons) were sure
that the summit could bring them peace so that they can get an opportunity to
go back home. But it was a surprise when the outcome of the summit that they
should observe the ceasefire and to enable the corridor, which would enable
humanitarian organizations to bring in assistance," Kahora said.
said the directive of the regional body fell short of providing what most of
the displaced persons were hoping for.
didn't respond to the needs of the people and they were disappointed. In fact
before the regional summit, the rebels themselves has said that they were going
observe a ceasefire to enable humanitarian organizations to have access to the
IDPS (internally displaced persons). So, the summit didn't change anything and
didn't bring anything new towards the situation in the region," he said.
said the regional summit failed to address the core issue of the escalated
violence in the north Kivu province.
is the problem and people think that is the reality, which is not so much in
the open. What people think is that there is a conflict and the crisis is
really known that there is a problem between President Joseph Kabila and the
rebels. In fact people often say that why doesn't the government of Kabila just
give an opportunity to the rebels to express exactly what they need because
people would like to exactly what are the complains and what are the claims of
the rebels. But they don't have that opportunity so that people can appreciate
if really this is what they claim they want to present. That was it really a
reality or was it something that can be claimed," Kahora pointed out.
said the government is refusing to hold talks with the rebels loyal to renegade
General Laurent Nkunda.
we can hear is that the government and President Kabila say they don't want to
negotiate with the rebels. There is no dialogue between the government and the
rebels, but meanwhile people feel a threat to their lives. Today for instance
most of the shops didn't open because they are afraid that the rebels may come
to the town at anytime and they would lose all they have worked for. Most of
the towns' services did not open today saying it seems there is peace, but it
is not peace that people could feel," he said.
said the new prime minister is promising to address the escalating violence in
the eastern part of the country.
have welcomed to the region the new Prime Minister Mr. Adolphe Muzito. He was
in Goma recently. He was also in Bukavu and in the Oriental Province to see the
situation of the region and to have meetings with the different authorities in
the area, and he said that he was going to solve the conflict in three ways:
political ways, diplomatic and also military ways, and those are the three
options he would take to solve the conflict, which is prevailing in the
region," Kahora pointed out.