KIGALI - President Paul Kagame yesterday received the United States Ambassador for War Crimes with whom he discussed a wide range of issues, mostly to do with peace in the Great Lakes region.
Steven Rapp who was in the country to attend the international colloquium for prosecutors last week previously served as the Chief of Prosecutions for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as well as Chief Prosecutor for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama said that the discussions centered on strengthening cooperation for stabilisation of Eastern DRC working hard to eliminate the violence in the area in order in to allow establishment of productive economic activity.
On the continued fighting and violence by FDLR in the eastern DRC, Karugarama revealed that collective effort against the rag tag rebel group is still needed.
“A collective effort by the governments of DRC and Rwanda, as well as regional partners and the international community is a prerequisite to end the violence by the FDLR and other errant groups in Eastern DRC.”
“As long as the conflict persists there cannot be a secure environment for investment and economic development.”
During the meeting, President Kagame reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to efforts that bring peace and stability in the region.
Last week, the former Nigerian President and UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to the Great Lakes Region, Olusegun Obasanjo praised the improving relations between Rwanda and DRC saying that it could mark the end of Africa’s Great Lakes war.
Addressing UN Security Council review session on the Great Lakes yesterday, Obasanjo said that improved ties will alter the situation in the region and spur socio-economic development.
After attending the prosecutors’ meeting, Ambassador Rapp visited Kinshasa before returning to Kigali to meet President Paul Kagame.
Stephen Rapp was confirmed by the US Senate as the US Ambassador for War Crimes in September and he will lead the State Department’s Office of War Crime Issues, which helps formulate U.S policy responding to atrocities in areas of conflict around the world.