RUBAVU - Rwandan and DRCongo Defense ministers Monday met in the border town of Gisenyi in a bid to carry on with talks aimed at planning how to eliminate negative forces from the vast central African country.
The meeting also attended by high-level security delegations from both countries, including their two army chiefs, discussed the implementation of the earlier reported joint military operational plan.
“We discussed and realized we have to comply with the Nairobi communiqué’s resolutions and what our Heads of State wish to be implemented fast,” Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, Rwanda’s defense minister said shortly after the meeting at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
“Now, as defense ministers, we have instructed our army chiefs to also do their job,” he said, stressing that in the earlier Nairobi Communiqué, and the recent December 4 and 5 bilateral Foreign Affairs ministers’ meeting, the issue of routing out negative forces, especially ex-Far interahamwe, had been high on the agenda.
The last bilateral meeting held on December 5 in the Congolese border town of Goma, endorsed an operational military strategy to deal with ex-FAR/Interahamwe militia, now grouped under what is known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
The ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia, are remnants of those who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis that claimed the lives of over one million. They later fled to neighboring DR Congo from where they continue to commit grave crimes - raping, looting, and killing innocent civilians.
Gen. Gatsinzi underlined that the plan has been set up, seen and approved by the two countries’ Heads of State.
“They (gave us, ministers of defense, instructions to also look at it and identify gaps and seek how it can be implemented as soon as possible.”
Asked whether there would be any other such meetings as the just concluded one, Gatsinzi insisted that this was just the beginning.
“We shall meet more often to see how things are being implemented, in a positive sense,” he said, reiterating that “the highest levels of will” to find a lasting solution to the conflict in eastern DR Congo was there.
Gen.Gatsinzi’s counterpart, Charles Mwando Nsimba, was accompanied by the army chief of staff, Gen. Didier Etumba, police Chief John Numbi and several others.
Responding to reporters questions later, Nsimba stressed that establishing an environment for both countries’ reconstruction was “now” of paramount importance.
“This is a determination that we have. The countries must play a role in the pacification of the east,” he said, underlining that the meeting was a continuation of the already established positive platform for dialogue.
Even though the mood before and after the closed discussions seemed, in every respect entirely camaraderie-like, the ministers, could not let slip anything about details of the operational plans.