Mudavadi moves to forestall diplomatic tiff with DRC after ambassador recall

The government has moved to forestall an imminent diplomatic tiff with the Democratic Republic of Congo over remarks by the country’s opposition leader in Nairobi.

Prime Cabinet Secretary and also Foreign Affairs boss Musalia Mudavadi has said that Kenya Kwanza government had nothing to do with the statements issued by Mr Corneille Nangaa.

Last week, Mr Nangaa in a press conference announced that he was working with several rebel movements, including the M23.

“The Ministry wishes to note that Kenya is an open and democratic state where freedom of the press is vouchsafed. As such, nationals and non-nationals may engage the Kenyan media without reference to the government,” Mr Mudavadi said on Sunday.

He said that his office had been made aware of the announcements and utterances made by Mr Nangaa but wondered why they were being linked to the government.

According to Mr Mudavadi, Kenya has disassociated itself from the utterances that are likely to injure the peace and security of DRC.

He said that currently Kenya is investigating the whole matter with the aim of determining the identities of the makers of the statement.

“Kenya further affirms its non-involvement in the internal affairs of DRC and commits to continue supporting the peace, security, and democratic consolidation of the country,” Mr Mudavadi said.

Mr Mudavadi’s reaction comes just hours after DRC recalled its ambassador to Kenya, Mr John Kalunga.

The Nation has established that Mr Kalunga was recalled to give explanations on the launch of a political- military wing by Mr Corneille Nangaa, who is DRC opposition leader.

Mr Alain Tshibanda, who is the spokesperson for Congo’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Mr Kalunga was needed in his country with immediate effect.

“The Kenyan Ambassador has been summoned today, Saturday, December 16, 2023, to Congo to provide explanations to the Deputy Prime Minister Mr Peter Kazadi on the launch, Friday in Nairobi of a political- military coalition,” Mr Tshibanda in a statement said.

Also recalled is the envoy to Tanzania since Tanzania hosts the headquarters of the East African Community, which Congo also belongs to.

This comes just three days before DRC goes into presidential elections with the current Head of State Felix Tshisekedi saying that he will be seeking a second term.

On Friday, M23 rebel group leader Mr Bertrand Bisimwa also attended the press conference in Nairobi.

The DRC opposition said that the team comprises of 17 political parties and several armed groups.

It is worth noting that Mr Nangaa the opposition leader in DRC is a close associate of former DRC President Mr Joseph Kabila.

He said that the main aim of the team is to ensure that they ‘save’ DRC which he said has been in a sad state of affairs for the last 30 years.

According to Mr Nangaa, the reason the country was still unstable was because it did not have serious leaders who had the interest of people at heart.

He also praised Kenya for being a hospitable country and that the fact that it even gave out it soldiers to deal with the insecurity in Congo was out of good heart.

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