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DRC Crisis: Presidents Kagame, Salva Kiir Discuss Regional Security

by Edmund Kagire
2:15 am

The two leaders discussed matters of regional importance in the wake of the escalating conflict in Eastern DRC. Photos/Urugwiro Village.

President Paul Kagame on Thursday at Urugwiro Village, met and held talks with the Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC), President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, and his delegation, as well as Dr. Peter Mathuki, EAC Secretary-General, to discuss matters relating to regional security in the wake of the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Kiir arrived in the country earlier in the day where he was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, at Kigali International Airport (KIA), for a one day working visit.

At Urugwiro Village, the two leaders discussed the ongoing conflict in the Eastern Part of DRC, where heavy fighting continues between M23 rebels and government forces, FARDC, operating in cahoots with a coalition of different armed groups allied to the government, with the support of the UN Peacekeeping Force MONUSCO

“They discussed the importance of addressing the root causes of insecurity in the region, as well as the need to uphold integrity and accountability in the functioning of the East African Community.” the Office of the President said.

President Kiir came to Kigali as fighting in the regional bloc’s newest member threatens to reach peak levels in the wake of continuous attacks on M23 positions, leading to displacement of millions. Different efforts to resolve the conflict through peaceful means, at the regional and continental level, have not yielded any results.

M23 accuses Kinshasa of reneging on different agreements aimed at resolving the conflict which has plagued the eastern part of the country over the past three decades, opting for a military approach, prompting the rebels to defend their positions.

Fighting escalated after President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi asked the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), which had been deployed by the regional bloc to restore peace and stability, to leave the country at the end of last year, abandoning recommendations of the Nairobi and Luanda Peace Processes, opening a door for him to pursue a military campaign.

With the support of SADC troops, Burundian soldiers, the FDLR militia, European mercenaries, and a host of Congolese militia groups, the DRC Government forces have been bombarding areas occupied by M23, killing civilians and displacing thousands more.

At the core of the problem is FDLR, a militia group based in eastern DR Congo for nearly three decades, founded by perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, whose presence Rwanda says threatens her own security and that of the region.

The militia is also behind the hate speech and ethnic violence targeting Congolese Tutsi communities. The genocidal militia continues to propagate the genocide ideology and says it harbours intentions of removing the government of Rwanda.

 

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