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Kenyatta in Goma Seeking DRC Peace

FILE: Former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta talks during a press conference,in Kinshasa, on November 14, 2022. - EAC's mediator Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Kinshasa on November 13, 2022 for talks aimed at paving the way for the meeting, set to take place on November 21.

Kenya's former president Uhuru Kenyatta arrived Tuesday in Goma, eastern DRC, AFP correspondents saw, as rebels from the M23 rebel group edge closer to the key city.

Kenyatta, a mediator for the seven-nation East African Community, arrived in Goma on Tuesday after visiting the Congolese capital Kinshasa, where he met senior government and United Nations figures.

"There is nothing that can be gained through the barrel of a gun," Kenyatta told reporters on Monday.

The previous day, the EAC announced it would hold a round of peace talks aimed at defusing the crisis in Kenya's capital Nairobi on November 21.

Troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are battling M23 fighters north of Goma, with the rebel group recently winning a string of victories and seizing swaths of territory in North Kivu province.

The crisis has cratered relations between the DRC and its smaller central African neighbor Rwanda, which Kinshasa accuses of backing the militia.

A mostly Congolese Tutsi group, the M23 returned in late 2021 after years of dormancy, claiming the DRC had failed to honor a promise to integrate its fighters into the army, among other grievances.

The DRC expelled Rwanda's ambassador late October after fresh M23 victories.

Despite official denials from Kigali, an unpublished report for the UN seen by AFP in August pointed to Rwandan involvement with the M23.

Meanwhile Rwanda accuses the DRC government of colluding with Hutu militants who fled across the border after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.