News / Africa

Great Lakes Leaders Urge Resumption of DRC Peace Talks

Presidents (from L) Salvar Kiir of South Sudan, Joseph Kabila of DRC, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda before the start of the extraordinary summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) head of states emergen
Presidents (from L) Salvar Kiir of South Sudan, Joseph Kabila of DRC, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda before the start of the extraordinary summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) head of states emergen
Leaders in Africa's Great Lakes region want the government and rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo to resume peace talks following a flareup of fighting.  

After a day of closed-door discussions in Kampala, five heads of state from Africa's Great Lakes region declared that negotiations should resume within three days between the Congolese government and the rebel group M23.

Participants included the presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Kampala talks were held under the auspices of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, which Uganda chairs, and were meant to address the fresh fighting in the eastern DRC.

Late last month, the Congolese army and a U.N. intervention brigade began an offensive against the M23 rebels. The last round of negotiations between the rebels and the DRC government broke down in May.

U.N. Special Envoy Mary Robinson, who was present at the Kampala meeting, visited conflict zones in the eastern DRC earlier this week.  She urged M23 to disarm, and has been advocating for a political solution to the violence.

Before Thursday's talks, Uganda’s permanent secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Mugume, told reporters the peace process has to resume so that the Congolese government can focus on the half-dozen other armed groups operating in the east.

“If you have a political negotiation process and it has stalled, you should be concerned. And nobody wants fighting. We want to resolve the problem with M23, so that the fighting can be on these other negative forces,” Mugume said.

The 11 countries of the Great Lakes region signed a Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement in Addis Ababa earlier this year.

U.N. envoy Robinson said events of the past few days have put the commitment of these countries to the test.

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by: Peter Groff from: Kibumba, Congo
September 09, 2013 12:03 PM
Kampala talks are a waste of time, just an opportunity for Rwanda to continue holding the Rutshuru area under M23 control and those talks are a diversion for Rwanda to keep supplying the M23 with supplies and Rwanda troops...Until Kagame and Museveni realize that Congo will not be balkanized to give Rwanda and area under their control, this war may well continue and may be needed to end in Kigali..sadly

by: Nestory Nibizi from: U.S.A
September 06, 2013 1:29 PM
This is playing card some leader in great lakes playing. If they agree to peace talk they should invite other rebels groups to end conflict. If other rebel's group they can beating from DRC military and UN peace keeper why M23 they can not? I think have been long time tolled for M23 disarm but they don't want too that means they decided to fight. remember there is on guy by the name Laurent Nkunda who Rwanda government inform that they arrest him but they didn't give him to DRC government that means he is under president pales drinking beer and BBQ. by this picture there is non solution on DRC war.

But DRC if the catch any of Rwandan criminal the take light away to Kigali. My thinking to done all Amy groups in DRC is to sit on the table with Rwanda FDRL to sit with Kagame to end there conflict and Ugandan rebels to sit with Museveni to end conflict. then we can have peace on that area. if decision is to use guns for finding peace on that area should fight with all enemy including M23. Don't make different between rebels. to make differ between long nose and shot nose it was long ago is not now. all them they are people and same wright as Congolese.

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