Monday, 25 March 2013

Kagame attends summit on DRC crisis


President Kagame and President Sassou N'Guesso greet the crowd at Ollombo Airport in Oyo. 
Four Heads of State at a Sub-Regional Summit on Peace, Security in the region yesterday expressed the need for the ongoing DRC peace negotiations in Kampala, Uganda to lead to a speedy,  positive outcome. 

President Sassou-N’Guesso welcomes Uganda’s Museveni to the Summit yesterday.
Meeting in Oyo, Northern Republic of Congo, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Joseph Kabila of the DRC, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and host Denis Sassou-N’Guesso, discussed ongoing regional efforts towards ending conflict in Eastern DRC and establishing security in the region.

The meeting follows the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region which was signed on February 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

“The Heads of State reiterated the importance of the agreement as essential to the peaceful resolution of the crisis and conflict in Eastern DRC and renewed their commitment to ensuring the implementation of the agreement through the existing joint follow up mechanism,” a statement issued at the end of the meeting said.

Speaking at the end of the five hour closed-door meeting, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters that the meeting was very fruitful.

“The Heads of State have decided to follow closely the implementation of all the outcomes of the various meetings and, more importantly, the Framework regional countries signed last month in Addis Ababa,” she said.

 The meeting, she added, signals the kind of commitment and the efforts that ‘our countries have engaged and will continue to engage in to make sure that we find peace in our region so we can continue working on the serious business of development.’

The Heads of State commended the engagement of the sub-regional leaders in the search for sustainable peace in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the communiqué added.

On the crisis in the Central African Republic, the four Heads of State expressed strong concerns on the recent developments.

After weeks of fighting in which tens of thousands were displaced, CAR President Francois Bozize fled after rebels stormed the capital yesterday. 

He is believed to have fled to DR Congo.

The Presidents called for restraint and urged all parties involved to respect the life and dignity of the citizens of Central African Republic. 

President Kagame and his counterparts encouraged President Denis Sassou-N’Guesso, who is mediating the crisis in the Central African Republic, to take initiative within the framework of the Economic Community of Central African States, for a fast return to peace and stability in the country.

Meanwhile, Minister Mushikiwabo also commented on the recent transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court (ICC) stressing that the root causes of the conflict in Eastern DRC should be addressed.

 “Ntaganda’s desire to face justice is a step in the right direction but the departure of one man in a country that has had so many difficulties in so many years does not signal the end of the problems in DRC. We believe more work needs to be done,” she said. 

Ntaganda was transferred to the ICC on Friday, days after he surrendered himself to the US embassy in Kigali. He faces alleged war crimes committed in DRC  for which he had been indicted by The Hague-based court.


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