Friday,October 18,2019 11:05 AM

Peace At Last?

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th July 2002 03:00 AM

PEACE APPEARS to be breaking out in the region.

PEACE APPEARS to be breaking out in the region. Two days after the Sudan government and the rebel Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army agreed on a framework to end 19 years of civil war, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo reached an agreement aimed at ending the conflict in the Congo. The two conflicts have had a destabilising influence on the region, and Uganda has particularly been affected. The unruly southern Sudan was for long a sanctuary for a cross-section of rebels, including Joseph Kony’s LRA and the West Nile Bank Front. Terrorist raids into western Uganda forced the government to send troops into eastern Congo to contain rebels there. Uganda has since withdrawn a large part of its contingency from Congo, with its security mission largely addressed. But Rwanda still has legitimate concerns, in the form of ‘Interahamwe’ killers and the former Rwanda Army (FAR), who were offered sanctuary in the vast Congolese countryside. The presence of renegade Rwandese will have to be handled comprehensively, as should that of as many as 30,000 Rwanda soldiers in the Congo. If these two central issues are sorted out, then sights can be set on sorting out the internal Congolese question. The Inter-Congolese Dialogue, an essential part of the Lusaka Accord, has stalled, largely because the external factors of foreign troop presence has not been sorted out. If that is put out of the way, then the various Congolese factions — military, political, social — can sit at a round table and make genuine progress in plotting the future of their country. Ends

Peace At Last?

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