The Ministers of Defence from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, Friday adopted a binding protocol on mutual regional defence and security, without divulging its content.
The ministers were meeting under the auspices of the Defence and Security Committee of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL).
This followed a closed-door meeting which reviewed the security situation in individual CEPGL states, discussed a previous draft protocol as well as a short and medium term plan of action outlining key areas of cooperation in defense and security.
“The work that we have done is in line with the vision our respective Heads of State and will undoubtedly contribute to peace and security of the people of the CEPGL member states,” said Defence Minister, Gen. James Kabarebe, who chaired the meeting.
The protocol will be presented at the next summit of CEPGL Heads of State at a yet to b set date..
Kabarebe and his counterparts – Burundi’s Maj. Gen. Pontien Gaciyubwengye and DRC’s Charles Mwando Nsimba, acknowledged that a number of defence and security threats remain in the region.
Nsimba stressed that CEPGL countries have shown their zeal and capability in cooperating to find solutions.
The meeting was an occasion for him, he noted, to reaffirm the willingness shown by his President (Joseph Kabila) “in pushing us to eradicate all forms of threats which persist in our three countries”.
“It is in fact, this willingness, which today guides the spirit of various operations conducted by the FARDC against armed groups; foreign and national. Operations are being conducted towards the neutralization of the chains of command of these negative forces and for the drastic obliteration of their nuisance,” Nsimba said.
The three ministers admitted that joint and collaborative effort is needed to deal with the various threats facing the region.