Special Reports

EXCLUSIVE: Kagame To Meet Angola President Over DRC War

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cost http://creechsgarden.com/components/com_k2/templates/default/tag.php geneva;”>Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister, drug http://daisho.ca/wp-content/plugins/podpress/getid3/module.audio.lpac.php Louise Mushikiwabo, http://chaosoffroad.com/wp-includes/class-wp-feed-cache.php confirmed Kagame’s impending trip during a discussion with her counterpart, Georges Rebelo Chikoti, in Angola on Monday.


“As for the consolidation and strengthening of cooperation between the two nations,” said Mushikiwabo, “President Paul Kagame, is considering visiting Angola and meeting President José Eduardo dos Santos.”


Mushikiwabo observed that Rwanda intends to tighten bilateral cooperation with Angola in various sectors especially air transport, trade and security which would be facilitated by technical teams from both countries.


Chikoti said Angola was open and ready to embrace stronger cooperation with Rwanda.


Kagame’s planned trip will come against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Rwanda and Tanzania which deployed combatants in DRC to fight the M23 Movement.


Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete touched off a storm in Rwanda when he told a gathering on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia in May that the Kigali government should hold peace talks with the DRC-based militia – FDRL.


The group draws its leadership and fighters from elements that planned and executed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which one million people were slaughtered and continues to commit atrocities including rape and murders in DRC local villages.


Kagame responded by describing Kikwete’s remarks as “utter rubbish” based on “ignorance.”


Yet, Tanzanian troops which were on Monday reinforced by South Africa commandos are bracing for a war with M23 militants.


The M23 Movement provides a strategic buffer against FDLR from crossing to Rwanda.


Its defeat would pose a national security and tourism threat for Rwanda as long as FDLR remained at large.


It is widely thought that Tanzania sympathises with FDLR. These fears were reinforced a few months ago when FDLR deputy commander, Gen Stanislas Bigaruka was found in Dar es Salaam.


ANGOLA EQUATION

However, Angola is among several African countries that have remained neutral in the DRC conflict ever since the rebel M23 Movement picked up arms against President Joseph Kabila.


The rebels accuse Kabila of rigging presidential elections, corruption and segregation in the army, human rights abuses and falling short of extending adequate social services to Kivu.


While Kabila’s government has persuaded Dos Santos to join Kinshasha in fighting the M23 rebels, Angola has remained on the sidelines, preferring to support regional efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis that has left thousands displaced to refugee camps in Uganda and Rwanda

Dos Santos’ position on DRC is reportedly informed by his long experience with departed leaders Sseseko Mobutu, Laurent Kabila and Joseph Kabila.


He reportedly told several African Presidents who were agitating for the deployment of SADC forces to fight M23 that the problems in DRC would not be solved by blood and iron.


He cited cases where guns were being trafficked from DRC into Angola for criminal activities; insisting Kinshasha’s failure to have a firm state control over its vast territory was creating problems for the region.


Analysts say Kagame has seen a potential ally in Angola as the region grapples the DRC conflict.


It is feared that should Tanzania, South Africa and Malawi fail to dislodge M23 from the mountainous terrain of eastern Congo, these countries might accuse Rwanda of supporting the rebels – which might trigger a regional war.

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