Democratic Republic of Congo: Commissioner Michel proposes peace summit
European Commission - IP/08/1620 03/11/2008
Brussels, 31 October 2008
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, today launched a call for a new 'Nairobi' Peace Summit to bring together all regional leaders and international bodies in a bid to secure an agreement to end the conflict and bring lasting stability for the Kivus region. The 'Nairobi 2' summit, which would be held in the Kenyan capital under the auspices of the United Nations, would unite leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi as well as the European Union, the United States and all regional bodies including the African Union, SADC, COMESA and EAC.
Commissioner Michel's two day shuttle diplomacy mission included meetings with both the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, and President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Commissioner Michel believes that any future 'Nairobi 2' summit is essential to bring both leaders, as well as other key regional leaders and international representatives, to negotiations at the same table. Only a political solution that deals with the root causes of the crisis can bring stability. The Nairobi agreement of November 2007 and the Goma conference of January this year remain the points of reference to start a renewed peace process.
Commissioner Michel stated; "After two days of positive talks with both President Kabila and President Kagame, it is clear that we must find a solution through dialogue. As I have said all along, any solution to the Kivu issue will only be found through a diplomatic and political response not a military one. That's why I believe it is crucial that all sides now come around the same table to work towards a solution based upon the November 2007 Nairobi accord and this year's Goma conference. An inclusive peace summit, under the auspices of the UN and which includes all key regional leaders, is the only way forward."