Foreign Affairs ministers of member states of the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL) have promised that their respective countries will soon clear their outstanding arrears.
Louis Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the announcement after the third ministerial council meeting which took place in Rubavu District from March 28 to 30.
“Although the main reason for the delay in payment was due to wars that affected this region, this problem looks set to be settled since all countries have agreed to do the needful,” explained Mushikiwabo.
CEPGL is made up of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Augustine Nsanze, the Burundian Foreign Minister and chairperson of the Ministers’ Council, commended the progress made by CEPGL, especially in security and democratic aspects.
“Insecurity in our region has definitely been addressed while recent elections in each of the member state show the democratic path the region is taking; I am sure we will stay the course,” said Nsanze.
Herman Tuyaga, the Executive Secretary of CEPGL, noted that there should be more resource mobilisation, especially in the energy sector, to reduce the energy deficit in the member states.
Also discussed by the ministers was the performance audit exercise currently underway.
“In July, last year, an audit team was put in place and we are waiting for their final report,” said Mushikiwabo.
“Free movement of people and goods is our principle within CEPGL, but it should be done in a way that does not contradict other treaties of regional blocs of which we are members, such as the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (SADC).”