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Museveni, Kabila meet today

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th September 2007 03:00 AM

The Special Summit between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opened officially on Friday morning with Congolese foreign minister Mbusa Nyamwisi announcing that Kinshasa would start fighting Ugandan rebels on Congolese territory.

The Special Summit between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opened officially on Friday morning with Congolese foreign minister Mbusa Nyamwisi announcing that Kinshasa would start fighting Ugandan rebels on Congolese territory.

By Felix Osike in Arusha and Alfred Wasike in Kampala

The Special Summit between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opened officially on Friday morning with Congolese foreign minister Mbusa Nyamwisi announcing that Kinshasa would start fighting Ugandan rebels on Congolese territory.

“The DRC will start an operation against the negative forces of Uganda this month”, Nyamwisi said in his opening speech in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, without specifying which rebel groups.

The negative forces operating from eastern Congo include the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the People’s Redemption Army (PRA) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Nyamwisi also called upon Uganda to withdraw its forces from Congolese territory. He accused UPDF of having troops in the eastern town of Mahagi.

He also alleged that Congolese militia were recruiting fighters in refugee camps in Uganda.

He further stated that Kinshasa was in favour of joint oil exploration on Lake Albert.

Earlier, foreign minister Sam Kutesa, who leads the Ugandan delegation, said he hoped the summit would address the conflict between the two countries. “The presence of negative forces in the DRC is a matter of serious concern to Uganda”, he stressed in his opening address.

“It is my hope that, while we sit here, we shall have an exhaustive solution to this problem.”

The Tanzanian foreign minister, Bernard Membe, said he was hopeful that the negotiations would come out with a positive result. “If DRC becomes peaceful, then the joint exploration of mineral resources will bring a positive impact to all the countries in the region”, he noted.

The foreign ministers are meeting ahead of face-to-face talks between President Yoweri Museveni and Congolese president Joseph Kabila on Saturday to iron out tensions caused by a series of border incidents and the continued presence of Ugandan rebels in eastern Congo.

On July 29, four UPDF soldiers were captured by Congolese troops while they were patrolling the waters of Lake Albert near Rukwanzi Island. Five days later, the Congolese army attacked an oil barge belonging to the Canadian-based Heritage Oil near the same island, killing one British expert.

And on August 9, unknown gunmen suspected to be Interahamwe invaded and looted the Ugandan border town of Butogota, killing three people.
Foreign and Defence officials from the two countries were trying to hammer out a common position on some of the outstanding issues, such as whether the disputed Rukwanzi Island belongs to Uganda or Congo.

Sources at the meeting said that both Ugandan and Congolese officials submitted colonial maps to justify their claims that the island was on their territory.

It was later agreed that an expert committee be set up to study the maps and come up with a final position.

Museveni, Kabila meet today

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