East African Community (EAC) leaders’ resolute to pursue and exploit diplomatic means to achieve a peaceful resolution to the ongoing political crisis revives hopes for the return of peace in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Previous efforts of all EAC leaders including the Nairobi Septet Summit and 3rd Conclave of the EAC Heads of State on peace and security situation in the war ravaged region of DRC aim at achieving lasting peace.
H.E Eduardo Filomeno Leiro Octávio, the Angolan Envoy to Rwanda made the remarks at the press briefing held November 14 at the Embassy of Angola in the capital, Kigali.
“All the leaders in the EAC region continue directing efforts towards achieving greater understanding,” said Eduardo Octávio.
His remarks come a day after EAC leaders announced peace talks to stabilize the Eastern part of DRC where government troops clashed with M23 rebels, again, north of the border city of Goma over the weekend.
The Envoy noted that Angolan President João Manuel Goncalves Lourenço, the mediator of the Kinshasa-Kigali crisis, also, the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) met Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Félix Antoine Tshisekedi separately in a bid to find a lasting solution to this crisis.
“Regarding the crisis in the Eastern DRC, President João Lourenço visited Rwanda early November 11, and had talks with H.E President Paul Kagame on the issue before he travelled to Kinshasa to have talks with Congolese President H.E Félix Tshisekedi,” said Eduardo Octávio.
Ambassador Eduardo Octávio observed that much as it is uncontested truth that such a task is hard, it is “possible to get actions to achieve peace”.
“So, we believe that there are resolutions that were taken precisely with the Kenyan President in support of the Burundian President, Evariste Ndayishimiye the current EAC Chairperson,” added Eduardo Octávio.
The Angolan Envoy who expressed optimism in achieving peace in the region sooner than later called on the people in the region to embrace patience, adding that given the complexity of the crisis, patience was inevitable while administering the task of mediation.
“But, me personally I believe we’re going to have peace,” he added.
Today’s press briefing is part of 47th Independence Day celebrations activities shy of the main event on November15 courtesy of the Embassy of Angola in Kigali, though country celebrates the day on November 11.
Notably, Angolan people celebrate Independence Day on November 11 every year. The coastal country on the west of African Continent gained its independence from the Portuguese colonial rule on November 11, 1975 and it is particularly in honour of comrades that lost lives in the liberation war against the Portuguese rule and in subsequent conflicts.
“The reason why we called this press conference is to inform you that the commemorations of the Independence of Angola were marked on Friday, November11,” Eduardo Octávio.
“As you already know on Novermber11, this year we received the President of the Republic of Angola H.E João Manuel Goncalves Lourenço who was on the trip to Kigali and Kinshasa to fulfill his mediation role in the quest for lasting solutions to Kigali-Kinshasa crisis,” he added, “and hence shifting the commemorations of Independence Day from November 11 to November15”.
The envoy took the journalists through the history of his country, and paid tribute to Angola’s first President and fallen hero, Antonio Agostinho Neto (1975 to 1979) who led the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in struggle for independence (1961–1974), efforts leading to Angola’s independence from the Portuguese colonial rule.
Ambassador Eduardo Octávio also paid tribute to President José Eduardo dos Santos (1979-2017) who took forward the legacy of his predecessor and led the Angolan people through turbulent years characterized by the French invasion and internal civil strife until April 2002 when total peace returned to the coastal African country.
He said that since then, Angola has enjoyed true democracy that is a bedrock of the social and economic transformation with substantial gains in key sectors including construction, health, education, Agriculture, trade and industry.
Watch this space for additional report by George Kalisa