Uprooting FDLR, resumption of diplomatic relations high on agenda
RUBAVU - Senior Rwandan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officials met once again, this time in the latter’s north eastern town of Goma, Thursday, to discuss outstanding ssues, including a joint operational plan to do away with the FDLR.
The high-level meeting is under the new “four plus four” bilateral framework, in which four Rwandan officials recently met their DRC counterparts to see how to set up a joint operational plan to do away with the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel outfit based in eastern DRC and comprised mainly of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
Rosemary Museminali, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister and her Congolese counterpart, Alexis Tambwe Mwamba, were joined by others, including both countries’ senior security officials in a day-long closed session, held at Goma’s Cap Kivu Hotel.
They were later in the afternoon joined by Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania as co-facilitator.
Museminali briefly spoke to The New Times before the resumption of the second and last session that ended late in the chilly lake side weather conditions.
“What we are meeting about is, you know, there is a military plan that the DRC is supposed to present to Rwanda this afternoon,” she said, explaining that the plan was to “deal” with the FDLR.
“So, this is what we are going to look at, and I hope if approved, it will be implemented.”
As earlier reported, the DRC recently, for the first time allowed Rwanda to have a role in plans to deal with the genocidal forces. This was revealed by both Museminali and her Rwandan Defence counterpart, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, during a parliamentary briefing on November 24.
“We are hoping to see the plan really dismantle the whole FDLR infrastructure,” she stressed, adding that their meeting also had the normalization of diplomatic relations on its agenda.
“At this meeting we will also discuss the issue of our diplomatic relations, which includes the exchange of Ambassadors,” she said, reiterating that Rwanda had already appointed one and awaited DRC’s progress on the matter.
“We are hoping that they will tell us how much they have been able to progress on that,” she added, underlining that no real conclusions had yet been arrived at. Both sides will meet again, at the same venue, today to sign a joint communique.