An extra-ordinary meeting of National Coordinators of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) will convene next week in Bujumbura to discuss and find possible ways to resolve the conflict in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, The New Times has learnt.
The emergency meeting will be seeking means to diplomatically end the escalating war in North Kivu province between Gen. Laurent Nkunda’s CNDP forces and FARDC/ FDLR forces as well the UN Peace keeping forces (MONUC) which are reported to be actively engaged in fighting.
According to Amb. Liberata Mulamula, the Bujumbura meeting will be followed by another of international facilitation groups in the Eastern DRC town of Goma to consult with the Government of President Joseph Kabila while another framework will be formed to bring Gen. Nkunda forward and discuss his grievances, after which a permanent resolution would then be sought by the concerned parties.
The revelations were made by Amb. Mulamula in her speech read to participants in the 3rd meeting of member states and partners on the implementation of project 1.1.2 for the disarmament of armed pastoralist groups and the promotion of sustainable development in zone 3 of the ICGLR held in Kampala, Thursday.
Mulamula called upon ICGLR member to implement regional frameworks and agreements that were put in place to create regional stability especially the pact on Security, stability and development in the Great Lakes Region and the Protocol on Non-Aggression and mutual defence in the Great Lakes Region, which was put in place to resolve security problems in the region.
“Implementation of these instruments remains a challenge and hence accusations, counter accusations and mistrust among member states still persist” says Mulamula.
She decried the heart wrenching humanitarian crisis prevailing currently in the DRC shown on Television in which over 100,000 people have been displaced, living in deplorable conditions saying that it calls for urgent intervention of the International community.
Last week, Mulamula held a consultative meeting with Heads of States from the region during the COMESA, EAC and SADC Tripartite Summit in which they discussed at length about the situation in the DRC and the way forward for durable peace in which all the leaders from neighbouring countries showed commitment towards a lasting solution to bring peace in the war-torn Eastern DRC.
“All the leaders underlined their willingness to help the government of DRC to address its internal security situation which is threatening the security of its neighbours” added Mulamula.
The ICGLR Secretary General said that the Secretariat is working hand-in-hand with Rwanda and DRC as well as the International Community to see that both Governments address the need to disarm negative forces operating in Eastern DRC through the Goma-based Joint Monitoring Group, which is foreseeing the implementation of the Nairobi Communiqué.
“The implementation of the Nairobi Communiqué is equally crucial and must continue because it specifically addresses one of the root causes of conflict in Eastern DRC, which is disarmament, repatriation and reintegration in Rwanda, of the FDLR and Interahamwe forces” concludes Mulamula.
The Rwandan Government has for many years complained to the International community about DRC harbouring negative forces, especially the FDLR and Interahamwe forces, posing a great threat to the country’s security.
Meanwhile the Kampala meeting is deliberating about the formation of a Regional Disarmament Committee (REDICOM) that will cub proliferation of small arms in the region, putting illegal guns in the hands of civilians which pose a great threat to security in the region.