By Gasheegu Muramila
GREAT LAKES – Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Charles Murigande has traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to hold talks with his Congolese counterpart, Mbusa Nyamwisi. The diplomatic talks are scheduled today in the Congolese capital Kinshasa.Before his departure, Murigande said that the meeting will focus on mending relations between Rwanda and DRC.
He said resolving problems between the two countries would a significant step in bringing about lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region.
“I was invited by my counterpart in (DR) Congo and I hope our talks will go a long way in strengthening our ties. Strengthening these relations will go as far as opening embassies in either country is concerned,” Murigande said.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels that have left 160,000 Congolese people displaced and others killed. FDLR is an amalgamation of remnants of the former Rwandan army and Interahamwe militias which are responsible for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Last month, Kinshasa decided to halt operations against the negative forces citing humanitarian reasons and lack of resources. Following that, Murigande said that Kigali was concerned with the decision saying the militias were taking advantage of it to regroup with a mission of attacking Rwanda.
However, during last week’s meeting of military chiefs for four nations constituting Tripartite Plus Joint Commission in Kigali, Congolese pledged to resume its operations against Rwandan militants and other negative forces operating from their country.
DR Congo’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Dieudonne Kayembe confirmed to press that joint DRC-Monuc operations against the rebels would resume before the end of September.
The army chiefs from Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda also agreed to set up a joint planning cell to devise operational plans aimed at neutralising the targeted negative forces.
The cell members, composed of intelligence and operation officers from the four countries, will meet to harmer out operational tactics in Kisangani on September 20.
The New Times