By Raymond Baguma and agencies
Uganda will participate in the signing of a framework agreement to restore peace in eastern DR Congo, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, the foreign affairs ministry has confirmed.
The signing ceremony will be attended by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and presidents and officials from DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Congo, South Africa and Tanzania. The leaders refused to sign the agreement during the African Union summit in Addis last month.
Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky recently said that the secretary general will attend and all the invited presidents have committed to either be there or delegate power to sign.
Ambassador James Mugume, Uganda’s foreign affairs ministry Permanent secretary however said that President Museveni was unlikely to attend, and could delegate a yet-to-be-named official.
The framework agreement will lay out a security plan that will toughen the UN peacekeeping mission to fight the negative armed forces in eastern DR Congo.
African Union has spoken out previously that it will not allow losing the command and control of the proposed Neutral International Force (NIF) to be deployed in Congo, and being place not be placed under the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo MONUSCO.
The existing UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO with 19,000 troops has been in DRC for 12 years and is largely ineffective in preventing conflict in eastern DRC, with President Museveni branding them as “military tourists” bent on sustaining the regional conflicts to earn from them.
The Natural International Force with a proposed 4,000 troops will be deployed in eastern DRC to take on the negative elements of M23, FNL, FDLR and ADF-NALU which are a threat to stability in DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) have offered to contribute a battalion to the Neutral International Force, with other troops expected to come from other SADC member countries such as Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique.