KIGALI - The Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe, yesterday, met the new UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Roger Meece, to discuss regional security issues and the situation in Eastern DRC.
Meece, who heads the United Nations Mission for the Stabilisation of Congo (MONUSCO) had paid a courtesy call on Kabarebe to discuss issues of interest the two sides have in regard to security and stability in the region.
Meece said, in an interview with the media, that the good bilateral relations between Rwanda and DRC are crucial in ensuring that peace returns to the eastern part of DRC, where FDLR rebels are terrorising civilians.
“We discussed a range of interests in the region, particularly focussing on the eastern part of the Congo. Obviously the security condition in that part of the country remains a major priority for MONUSCO.”
“I hope we will continue to have a very good collaborative relationship to achieve our shared objectives of peace, and secure conditions for the people of the region,” Meece said.
The UN official who has had a long career in the region as a diplomat, said that Rwanda and DRC have achieved a lot of progress towards returning peace and also restoring diplomatic relations.
“I have been very encouraged on return to see significant progress that has been achieved in terms of security conditions on the ground as well as bilateral and other relationships in the region.”
“I think the relationship between the Rwandan and Congolese government is very important. It has been useful to further advance the cause of establishing secure conditions. I hope it can be continued and we will continue to support it,” Meece added.
The UN official however said the FDLR rebels still pose a great security threat to civilians in Eastern DRC. Meece’s visit came at the time when reports indicated that the marauding rebels had gang raped over 150 women and ravaged homes in the eastern part of the country.