By Raymond Baguma
Five regional Heads of State of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are meeting in Kampala today (Thursday) in an emergency meeting to find solutions to the fighting in eastern DR Congo.
The foreign affairs ministry spokesperson, Elly Kamahungye, confirmed the arrival of Presidents Joseph Kabila (DR Congo), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania).
The emergency meeting comes a month after the Heads of State met in Nairobi to discuss the situation in eastern DRC following renewed fighting that has resulted in the death of UN soldiers serving under the intervention brigade.
UN Sec Gen Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Mary Robinson, talks to EAC Sec Gen Richard Sezibera. PHOTO/Kennedy Oryema
In his opening remarks during a closed meeting for ministers, Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa said that the renewed fighting had also led to an influx of displaced people seeking refuge in Uganda. Also present is the Zambian foreign affairs minister, Wilbur Simusa.
He also said the meeting will consider the need for a cessation of hostilities to allow resumption and conclusion of peace negotiations between M23 and DRC Government, taking place in Kampala.
Kutesa also called for the urgent implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement for DR Congo and the region.
Eleven African nations signed the UN-brokered accord in February this year in Addis Ababa, pledging not to interfere in the affairs of their neighbours.
According to Kutesa, the UN intervention brigade needs to be supported in order to bring about regional peace, as well as its full operationalisation to deal with the foreign negative forces in DR Congo.
Some of the foreign groups operating in DR Congo have been identified as Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Others are Burundian National Force of Liberation (FNL) and Rwandan Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).