KIGALI - President Paul Kagame and his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart, Joseph Kabila, will meet and hold bilateral talks on Thursday August 06, reliable sources have confirmed to The New Times.
The meeting is a culmination of recent efforts by the two nations to restore full bilateral ties, which has registered tremendous progress within this year. Key among these includes a resumption of diplomatic relations and agreeing on a joint military operation to deal with the long-standing issue of the genocidal FDLR militia outfit.
Though the two Presidents have met in the past under the auspices of a third party, it will be the first time since the two nations severed diplomatic ties that the Heads of State meet under bilateral arrangements.
Sources said the two Presidents will meet at the border post of the two nations.
In preparation for this summit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Corporation Rosemary Museminali is scheduled to hold a meeting today with her Congolese counterpart in charge of International Cooperation, Raymond Tshibanda to finalise the agenda.
“We are meeting first to discuss preparations for the Heads of State Summit, that will be very soon,” Museminali told The New Times.
“But among other things, my meeting with my counterpart will also focus on Peace and Security in the region, economic development, energy and infrastructure and the environment.”
Last year the two Presidents met in the Nairobi for a summit that discussed how the two countries’ relations could be restored especially by tackling the conflict in Eastern DRC.
The meeting between the Heads of State in Nairobi and subsequent discussions between senior officials from both countries, culminated into a joint military operation against Rwandan militias operating in Congo.
The operation code named “Umoja wetu” saw thousands of FDLR rebels and their dependants surrender and return to Rwanda. The rebel outfit that has terrorised Eastern DRC is largely made up of elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and have been in Congolese jungles for the last 15 years.