Regional leaders agree on neutral force for Congo

Regional leaders agree on neutral force for Congo

The Regional leaders meeting in Uganda’ capital  Kampala on Wednesday agreed to establish a neutral force to police the Rwanda-DR Congo border and hunt down armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The meeting presided over by President Yoweri Museveni was convened to defuse tensions between Rwanda and DR Congo, which have traded accusations of supporting each other’s rebels.

A statement issued after the summit said the summit had agreed to set up a committee of regional defence ministers tasked with coming up with “actionable steps to ensure that fighting stops completely.”

The committee, made up of seven of the 11 nations in the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), including Rwanda and DR Congo, will also “provide details on the operationalisation of the neutral international force.”

Defence ministers from Angola, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania will also be on the committee, which was given a month to submit its report to leaders.

Presidents; Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) and Kenyan vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka attended the summit.

Other leaders are Sudan vice-president Dr. El-Haj Adam Yousuf and Angola’s foreign affairs minister George Chicoti.

There were also delegations from the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Zambia.

The United Nations is represented by Abou Moussa, the special representative for Central Africa while the Africa Union (AU) is represented by the AU chairperson’s special representative to LRAaffected areas, Francisco Madeira.

The summit is organized under the auspices of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

The attendance of Kagame and Kabila was seen as a boost to the talks as an agreement on a neutral force to police their borders and neutralise rebel groups depends mainly on them.

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