As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the M23 rebels are oscillating on the modalities of peace negotiations that are taking place in Uganda, the women from North Kivu Province where the bulk of the fighting has been taking place have come to Uganda demanding direct involvement and participation in the negotiations.
During a press conference that was held in Kampala on 20th December 2011, the Congolese women under a loose local organisation; Women Artisans for Peace, that is composed of various layers of Congolese civil society organisations and activists campaigning for the restoration of lasting peace in Eastern Congo; said that all measures to achieve meaningful peace in Congo must involve women directly in negotiations and any planned peace overtures.
“Why should the peace negotiations be undertaken without involving women in Congo especially those from Eastern DRC who have experienced and have been affected most by the atrocities that have been and are being committed during the conflict? For us women in Eastern DRC and north Kivu province in particular, we want peace and peace we want it at all costs. We have seen enough and let our voice be heard”; said their spokesperson Nana Balume. Here is a full Press Statement of the Congolese women peace activists from North Kivu province