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Four African nations plan joint response to militia in DR Congo

By AFP

Added 8th June 2019 07:59 AM

The officials from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as DR Congo, agreed on "coordinated and concerted regional action to address the threat posed by negative forces,"

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Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi. Photo/AFP

The officials from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as DR Congo, agreed on "coordinated and concerted regional action to address the threat posed by negative forces,"

Intelligence chiefs from four nations in Africa's Great Lakes region have announced plans for regional action against armed groups destabilising the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
The officials from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as DR Congo, agreed on "coordinated and concerted regional action to address the threat posed by negative forces," according to a statement released Thursday after two days of talks in Kinshasa.
 
Dozens of militias roam the North and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a vast country the size of western continental Europe.
 
The most notorious is the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a shadowy Islamist-rooted group that rose in western Uganda in 1995 under the leadership of Jamil Mukulu, a Christian turned Muslim.
 
The new initiative entails "continuous exchange of information, in-depth and consensual analysis and joint planning between the intelligence and security services," the statement said.
 
The four nations set up a "technical working group" to give its assessment of the armed groups and of the strategies being used to combat them.
 
The ADF has been blamed for the massacre of hundreds of civilians and the killing of 22 UN peacekeepers and dozens of DRC troops.
 
Another group is a DRC-based Rwandan rebel militia called the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR). Its leaders have been linked to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and accused of killing or raping hundreds of Congolese civilians.
 
Armed groups are also hampering the effort to roll back Ebola in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province, launching attacks on treatment centres that have killed five workers, according to an AFP tally.
 
The four national intelligence chiefs also invited the international community to support the plan.
 
All previous initiatives to eradicate the armed groups -- by the Congolese army, UN peacekeepers and joint efforts by neighbouring armies -- have failed.
  

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