Special Reports

Kabila Finally Agrees To Talk Peace With M23 Rebels

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mind http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/text.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>This followed a day-long summit of heads of state and meetings of foreign ministers and defence chiefs under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) at Commonwealth Resort, http://chamberhealthcoop.com/wp-includes/category-template.php Munyonyo, Kampala on Thursday.

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The leaders resolved that negotiations between M23 and DRC government must start in three days and concluded in two weeks.

The talks stalled when DRC, with the support of Tanzania and South African troops, chose to take the path of war against M23, a move that worsened the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country and displaced thousands of refugees to Uganda and Rwanda.

Ministers Sam Kutesa (L) Mushikiwabo and Crispus Kyonga at the Summit

President Yoweri Museveni who chaired the meeting said the talks between M23 and DRC must be concluded “as soon as possible so that the UN intervention brigade can move to other armed groups including Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).”

Observers say if regional leaders walk the talk, the M23 could realize their objectives which include compelling Kinshasha to extend social services such as tarmac roads, schools and hospitals to Kivu.

President Kagame being welcomed by senior Uganda officials; Amb Richard Kabonero, Johnson Byabashaija and Gen Kale Kayihura at Entebbe Airport on Wednesday

The M23 could as well be reintegrated in the army.

Interestingly, the UN intervention Brigade which had concentrated its efforts on bombing the M23 territory around Goma will now have to move deeper in the densely forested areas of DRC to attack the ADF, one of the most deadly and battle-hardened guerilla terrorist force in the country.

And by the fact that regional leaders are advocating for war against militant groups apart from M23, it appears the rebel Movement is no longer considered a “negative force.”

In his closing remarks at the conference on Thursday night, Museveni said the dialogue between M23 and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been going on in Kampala for many months.

President Kagame was flanked by his ministers, James Kabarebe and Louise Mushikiwabo to the Summit

“They have now narrowed the discussion to few points. If the dialogue we had today with President Joseph Kabila and the Kampala talks facilitator, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, is adhered to, it will facilitate the M23 to come out peacefully so that the Intervention Brigade and the UN forces deal with other issues of crime,” said Museveni.

President Museveni thanked the Presidents, who included Jakaya Kikwete, Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila, for attending the Summit.

“This emergency summit was in response to the renewed fighting in Goma. Although the media concentrates on Goma, there are many areas infested by terrorist groups either coming from outside Congo or within Congo. For several months, the ADF has been terrorising people on the other side of our border,” said Museveni.


COBRA

DRC President Joseph Kabila attending the conference

“Opposite the Semliki, there is a character called Cobra who has caused a lot of suffering to people in that area. I salute the Congolese Army; recently they launched an offensive against Cobra. I encourage them to continue,” he added.

The President observed that actions of militant groups lead to displacement of Congolese which “generates refugees into neighboring countries, into Uganda, into the South Sudan. Refugees have really suffered. “

“The parts of Uganda neighboring Congo are heavily populated. The schools that accommodate the refugees are about to open. I, therefore, use this opportunity to appeal to the International Community to contribute to humanitarian assistance of the refugees.”

Presidents Salva Kiir and Jakaya Kikwete having a chat during the Summit

“I want to inform this conference that I have been watching the African continent for over 50 years. Where Africa takes the lead, solutions are always found. It was the case for the liberation struggle in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and Guinea Bissau. It was Liberation Movements, and front line states supported by the International community,” he further advised.

“The issue of Amin, we were able to solve by applying similar packaging. Similarly the regional grouping should find a solution to this problem. I won’t say much. We’ve been here the whole day. I thank you very much.”

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