‘Listen to General Nkunda’

KAMPALA: Ugandan Members of Parliament have said that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should accommodate General Laurent Nkunda’s concerns to avert the ongoing clashes in the country’s east from spilling over to the entire region.

KAMPALA: Ugandan Members of Parliament have said that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should accommodate General Laurent Nkunda’s concerns to avert the ongoing clashes in the country’s east from spilling over to the entire region.

The rebel Congolese general accuses his country’s army of allying with Rwanda’s former forces, ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias to fight his troops.

The Rwandan militants, grouped under what is known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide which claimed at least one million Rwandans.

Heavy fighting has erupted between Nkunda’s forces and the Congolese forces in the North Kivu province forcing a number people into refugee in the neighbouring Uganda. The UN estimates about 170,000 Congolese have been displaced.

“The Nkunda faction is seeking and needs to survive but they have not been accommodated.

That problem requires a long term approach, and Kinshasa should pay attention to them,” Lt. Saleh Kamba, a Ugandan lawmaker, said during a debate with fellow legislators at a consultative seminar on the Nairobi Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region in Kampala on Wednesday 5.

Another MP, Onyango Kakoba, said he was yet to mobilise his colleagues to find a regional approach to the Nkunda-Kinshasa conflict.

“We know it is an internal problem in the DRC but it also has external effects that are affecting all of us.

For instance Congolese who are running away from the conflict are coming to Uganda.

We are not going to wait for that conflict to spread to other countries especially Rwanda and Uganda.

We shall seek a multilateral way so that no country’s efforts are perceived with bias,” Kakoba, also the vice chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, later told The New Times later.

Already, foreign affairs ministers from both Uganda and Rwanda have been to Kinshasa over the increasing tension in the country’s east.

Kakoba said FLDR was a regional problem that needs to be dealt with collectively.

Suspected FDLR militias recently attacked a Ugandan village and killed three people.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila are expected to meet tomorrow in Arusha and discuss the increasing tension.

But the Ugandan MPs suggested that all leaders of the directly affected countries neighbouring the DRC engage in the impending talks.

On September 15 Uganda will host a meeting of the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission (TPJC), which brings together Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the DRC.

The issue of negative forces hold up in the Congo have always dominated such meetings.

A number of FDLR leaders are already on a common list of most wanted persons drawn by the four nations.

DRC had suggested Nkunda’s name to appear on the list but later withheld in preference for peaceful settlement of their differences.

But with the renewed fighting now it is not clear whether Kinshasa will backtrack on this position.

Ends

 

Have Your SayLeave a comment