Military chiefs approve regional border patrols

Military chiefs from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to strengthen cross-border monitoring in a stepped up bid to effectively deal with negative forces in that mainly operate from Congo’s territory.
Gen. James Kabarebe
Gen. James Kabarebe

Military chiefs from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to strengthen cross-border monitoring in a stepped up bid to effectively deal with negative forces in that mainly operate from Congo’s territory.

The agreement was reached at early this week at the third extraordinary Tripartite Plus Joint Commission (TPJC) meeting of military chiefs held in Lubumbashi, DR Congo.
Rwanda’s Chief of General Staff (CGS) Gen. James Kabarebe, and his counterparts Lt. Gen. Dieudonne Kayembe, Uganda’s Gen. Aronda Nyakayirima Maj. Gen. Samuel Gahiro of Burundi, attended the meeting.

In a joint statement released after the meeting, the generals said they that agreed to ‘strengthen and operationalise the joint verification mechanisms in order to effectively deal with negative forces and monitor cross border situations.’

The commander of the UN Mission in DRC (Monuc) Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye and Lt. Col Scott Bryson, the US Defense Attache in the DRC, were present at the meeting.

The military chiefs also called on other state agencies notably police, immigration and local administrations in strengthening the Tripartite Plus mechanisms.

They will formalise meetings with unit commanders operating along common borders in order to deal with insecurity incidences and enhance mutual confidence, the statement added.

The army generals’ meeting came at a time when security is still tense in eastern DRC. Early this week, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) fired gunshots on the Rwandan territory from their positions in Congo, but the incident claimed no life.

However, the military chiefs’ statement was silent on when DRC’s army and Monuc would renew operations against FDLR and other negative forces in eastern Congo.
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