The Democratic Republic of Congo
government has vowed to strengthen ties with neighboring Rwanda. This comes
after President Joseph Kabila named an ambassador to Kigali after years of
strained diplomatic relations.
said the recent joint military operation between the two countries aimed at
weeding out insurgents in restive North Kivu province was the first step toward
building strong relations with its neighbor.
Political analysts have often
blamed suspicion as the major cause of the tepid relations between Kinshasa and
you will recall, early into this year President Kabila took an initiative. He
invited Rwandan armed forces to join with us in order to dismantle one of the
armed groups working in the North and South Kivu areas," said Raymond
Tshibanda, Congolese minister of international and regional cooperation.
said President Kabila's newly named ambassador, Norbert Nkulu Kilombo, signals
a seriousness toward building ties with Kigali.
DRC government has recently advised the government of Rwanda that it plans to
appoint Mr. Norbert Nkulu Kilombo as the new DRC ambassador to Rwanda. The
appointment of an ambassador is usually an indication of the quality of the
relations a country seeks to establish with another country," he said.
said Kinshasa aims to build a stronger bond with its neighbor.
have to go beyond diplomatic relations. We have also to work on improving our
economic relations. This is another line of action we are working on in order
to strengthen the relations between our two countries," Tshibanda said.
described as opening old wounds when questioned about the genesis of the
strained relations between the two countries.
don't think that at this stage it will be helpful to go back over the recent
history of the relations between our two countries because it would be, I would
say, opening old wounds when we should be trying to mend these wounds," he
said that top level discussions between the neighboring countries serve as
confidence building measures and are an encouraging sign.
need to rebuild trust between the two governments. Because we discovered that
working together, our positions are closer to one another than we thought. And
we intend to work together until we have solved once and for all this problem"
said Presidents Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame will soon meet as a demonstration
of trust between the two countries.
sooner than you think. Maybe within the next few weeks. We are working on the
idea. We are in constant consultation with Kigali, trying to manage the work
schedule of the two heads of state. But we have already agreed in principle
that they are going to be meeting soon," he said.
newly appointed Congolese ambassador, Norbert Nkulu Kilombo, is scheduled to
arrive in Rwanda soon.