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Overview of the EAC-led Nairobi Process

An Overview of Peace and Security in Eastern DRC

The insecurity in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo pre-dates 1994 and was exacerbated by the retreat of defeated genocidal forces into the dense forests of Eastern DRC where they regrouped to cause instability in the region.

The security challenges in Eastern DRC have acquired two dimensions:

  • The Internal dimension:
    This pertains to governance deficits that consequently led to proliferation of a number of communal security arrangements which sprung up mainly to protect themselves from the invaders well known for committing extensive Human Rights abuses and violations.
  • The External dimension:
    This primarily pertains to violence imported into Eastern DRC by combatants fleeing from neighboring countries that include the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Red Tabara among others.

The Eastern DRC is estimated to have about 142 local armed groups with presence in the North and South Kivu provinces as well as Ituri Province. There are also foreign armed groups that include FDLR, Red Tabara, LRA and ADF which are known to plan terrorism and destabilization activities against a number of EAC Partner States.

The net outcome of this scenario has been insecurity, displacement both internally and externally, sex and gender-based violence, illicit exploitation and trafficking of natural resources and erosion of the authority of the state among others. Consequently, human security and development has thus been extensively undermined.

Committed to finding a swift and lasting solution to the Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in North and South Kivu as well as Ituri Provinces, the East African Community Heads of State convened, in three Conclaves held on 8th April, 2022; 21st April, 2022 and 20th June, 2022, all in Nairobi, Kenya and decided as follows:

  1. There should be dialogue between the Armed Groups in the DRC and the Government of the DRC to address sources of grievances that have led to the current level of insecurity through proliferation of Armed Groups;

  2. There should be a Military approach to facilitate voluntary disarmament of local and foreign armed groups and where necessary use of force to achieve the same;

  3. Repatriation of non-Congolese armed groups to their States of origin upon disarmament; and

  4. The two processes (dialogue and military approach) will be undertaken simultaneously through EAC Leadership but with full ownership of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The EAC-led Nairobi Process

The EAC-led Nairobi Process is a regional peace initiative to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The process was launched by the East African Heads of States during the first conclave held on 8th April, 2022.

The Nairobi Process is based on the following principles:

  • Inclusivity: All stakeholders, including the DRC government, armed groups, civil society organizations, and the international community, to be involved in the process.

  • Dialogue: The process is committed to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict through dialogue and negotiation.

  • Ownership: The DRC government to own the process and facilitate its implementation.

  • Regional leadership: The EAC to play a leading role in the process.

  • International support: The international community to provide support to the process.

During the second Conclave held on 21st April, 2022 the Heads of State agreed on a Two-Track Approach that is, Political intervention and Military/security enforcement towards addressing insecurity situation in Eastern DRC. The two tracks are complementary and are undertaken simultaneously through EAC Leadership but with full ownership by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Goals of the EAC-Led Nairobi Process

  1. Trust and confidence building;
  2. Cessation of hostilities and promotion of voluntary disarmament;
  3. Enhancement of Participation in the political processes in the country by all citizens;
  4. Prioritization and participation in the country’s Development by all citizens;
  5. Finding a lasting solution to the Citizenship of certain categories of residents of Eastern DRC;
  6. Forceful Disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed groups;
  7. Reintegration of combatants into society; and
  8. Repatriation and settlement of Congolese refugees and internally displaced persons


East African Community
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Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org