President Paul Kagame and his Angolan counterpart José Eduardo dos Santos yesterday held talks in the Angolan capital Luanda, which aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries, the President’s Office said in a statement.
“During their meeting, held at the Presidential Palace, the two Heads of State held a bilateral meeting during which they discussed regional security and committed to stepping up bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including investment,” the statement said.
It quotes Rwandan Foreign affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo as saying, “Rwanda and Angola are committed to strengthening bilateral relations. Our two nations will continue to work closely together to ensure sustainable peace and economic prosperity for the people of this region.”
Kagame had last visited Angola in March this year during which he attended a regional Heads of State and Government summit which, among others, discussed plans to disarm the DR Congo-based FDLR fighters who are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which claimed an estimated one million lives.
President dos Santos is the current chairperson of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which brings together DR Congo and all her neighbours (including Angola and Rwanda) whose objective is to the eliminate all negative groups in the region and set the pace for sustainable peace and development.
Six months ago, leaders of ICGLR and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) gave the FLDR up to January 2, 2015 to disarm or face military action, and the militia has since been accused of reneging on its pledge to disarm voluntarily – setting the stage for possible confrontation with a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Congo, bolstered by an African brigade with an offensive mandate, and the Congolese army.
Observers have, however, questioned the commitment of the Congolese government and other key actors to the efforts aimed at eliminating the FDLR threat.
President Kagame’s visit to Luanda comes seven months after Rwanda and Angola signed three bilateral agreements during the visit to Kigali of the Angolan Foreign affairs minister Georges Rebelo Chikoti.