"This is not going anywhere quickly, but it is going somewhere bad," says Henri Boshoff, a senior analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Tshwane, South Africa. "Unless the military forces can be convinced to stop fighting, and unless there is international pressure to get Nkunda and Kabila to start talking, we're in for a bad time."
Over the weekend, regional leaders meeting in Nairobi called for an end to the fighting, and vowed to send in peacekeepers to help the UN's own 17,000-man force to restore peace. "The Great Lakes Region will not stand by to witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed group against innocent people of DRC; if and when necessary, the [Great Lakes Region] will send peacemaking forces into the Kivu province of DRC," said the leaders in a statement released.
The Great Lakes Region includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and the DRC. Another regional group, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), also offered to send in peacekeepers at a separate meeting in Johannesburg.
"SADC should immediately provide assistance to the armed forces of DRC," said SADC executive secretary-general Tomaz Salomoa. "The security situation in DRC is affecting peace and stability in the SADC and Great Lakes region."