KIGALI - Amani , a parliamentary forum advocating for peace in the Great Lakes Region says there is need for rebel movements and governments to settle their differences peacefully. The forum is willing to arbitrate between the worrying parties in order to stop bloodshed in the region. The move comes at a backdrop when several rebels are fighting governments in the region using the Democratic Republic of Congo soil. Some of the rebel movements hiding in the Eastern Congo forests are the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) based in Garamba, fighting the Uganda government.
Others include; the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an ethnic Hutu rebels who were involved in the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Renegade soldiers of Gen Laurent Nkunda in North -Kivu, where clashes have caused some 90,000 people to flee.
Regional parliamentarians offered to help conflict in the region during a two day workshop on the Parliamentary oversight of the security sector organised by Amani Rwanda Chapter and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) based in South Africa, recently.
Paulin Bapolisi of the AMANI Forum Chapter for DR. Congo said that the forum was ready to bring the clashing rebel groups to good terms with their responsible governments.
“We are determined to bring peace and stability to the region, we shall have to negotiate with the heads of States in the neighboring countries to hold talks with rebel groups that continue to pose insecurity,” Bapolisi said.
“AMANI Forum is doing a great role in the Congo, we have visited the troubled region and talked with the local people to see clearly where the problem lies and tried to devise possible means of solving the problem,” Bapolisi explained.
Capt. John Emmilly Otekat, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and also a member of Amani Chapter Uganda said that the Forum had started talking with the government to speed up the peace talks between the LRA and the government in Sudan to see that the Kony rebels leave Congo.
“We can not rest when Kony is torturing our brothers in the north; we have to devise means to see that the peace talks in Sudan are fruitful,” Otekat said.
Otekat explained that Amani will make sure that they push the concerned authorities to see that those groups that continue destabilising the region negotiate.
“Those (rebels) who escaped from Rwanda (FDLR) and Uganda (LRA) should come back and reconcile with governments of those countries to ensure peace and security in the region,”Otekat said.
The Chairman of Parliamentary Amani Forum of the United Republic of Tanzania, James P. Musalika explained that Amani Chapter Tanzania has been and would always continue to struggle for peace especially in her neighboring countries.
“We have to work together as MPs in the region for the common good of our people,” Musalika said.