Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s former president and facilitator of the East African Community-led peace process in eastern DR Congo, has met with Bertrand Bisimwa, president of the M23 rebel group. The meeting was held in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa, on Thursday, January 12. In December 2022, the M23 rebels started withdrawing from positions they had earlier captured in an effort to give peace a chance. ALSO READ: M23 rebels withdraw from Rumangabo military base Kenyatta’s office said, in a statement, that the rebels agreed to continue their withdrawal. “In demonstration of goodwill and the willingness to work towards the settlement of the situation in the North Kivu, the leaders of the M-23 agreed to continue with an orderly withdrawal and to adhere to a strict cease-fire,” the statement reads. Press Release: Meeting between H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Former President of the Republic of Kenya and Facilitator of the EAC led DRC Peace Process and the Leadership of M-23 pic.twitter.com/Wr4uYxHvTT — Office of the 4th President of Kenya (@4thPresidentKE) January 12, 2023 The rebels’ vacated positions of Kibumba town and Rumangabo military camp which are now occupied by the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) deployed in eastern DR Congo since November 2022. “The leaders of the M-23 urged President Kenyatta to assist in assuring that there is safety in the DRC and that citizen rights are upheld and recognized,” the statement said. There are more than 120 local and foreign armed groups in eastern DR Congo. The rebel leaders demanded that all the militias lay down their arms, cease any fighting or attacks on the M23 positions and seek resolution of the conflict through peaceful means. It was also agreed that the withdrawal process would continue to be verified by both the East African Regional Force and the ICGLR Verification Mechanism to ensure the safety and swift return of all the displaced citizens and refugees to their homes. ALSO READ: Rwandan NGOs condemn ‘acts of genocide’ in DR Congo Bisimwa appealed for an end to the on-going hate speech in DR Congo. Kenyatta accepted to get personally involved in curbing the use of inflammatory language that could jeopardize the peace process. In November, the United Nations special advisor on genocide prevention, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, warned that the violence especially targeting Congolese Tutsi communities in eastern could escalate into genocide.