KIGALI - Regional countries are committed to stamping out armed groups that are causing insecurity and instability, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), has announced.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula made the remarks yesterday after paying a courtesy call on the Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe.
She is in the country to attend a high-level meeting of experts from the 11- member states of the grouping, which is aimed at coming up with strategies on to make the region much safer.
“The presence of many delegates shows the commitment of the countries in the Great Lakes Region to own the solutions to the problem,” Mulamula said.
“I must say that the most affected countries have been working together. This meeting is very timely. Seeing and following what is going on in the north of the continent, we would not want to see a repeat of what has happened in Libya in our region.”
The two-day meeting that started Wednesday precedes that of Defence Ministers from member countries that opens today.
The major impediment to the region’s sustainable stability, according to the grouping, is the continued presence in the region of negative forces and illegal armed groups like the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which operates in the DRC.
“I was here to pay my courtesy call on the minister and thank him for hosting the meeting and the commitment that Rwanda has shown towards fighting the negative forces,” Mulamula said.
She dismissed sceptics who claim that the regional member countries support negative forces.
“There will be sceptics, but I must say that countries hosting the negative forces are not secure. And that’s why they are here to find how best we can get rid of this menace,” she said.
“You have the Lord's Resistance Army in Central African Republic. It is not that they host them. But then, they found their way through a porous border; 1,000 or 2,000 kilometres from Uganda to the Central African Republic (CAR).”
ICGLR brings together Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.