The historic meeting today, between President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and President Paul Kagame, should be hailed as a triumph for regional diplomacy.
The Presidents are expected to hold a Summit at the border of Rwanda and the DRC.
Not many, those months ago, would have placed a bet on the successful conclusion of the bilateral diplomatic discussions between the two countries, as they sought to find common ground towards lasting peace and security in the war ravaged eastern DRC.
A conflict that was a source of much contention and destabilisation to the whole Great Lakes Region.
Prophets of doom dismissed the first joint military operation code named, 'Umoja Wetu', 'Our Unity', which later recorded astounding results, not only in exposing the menace that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and their local militia allies were to the eastern DRC - but it also initiated a long overdue demobilisation process of those militias willing to come back home. We reported of mothers with babies born in bondage, children recruited and forced to kill, older men who knew no other way, all making their
way back home to start afresh.
It was indeed the start of a historic process, taking this region out of the context it has always been known for of being completely shattered and hopeless, to the dawn of a new era of peace and security, brought about by a resolute leadership.
Many of the decade old peace processes failed to record such
tremendous results for many reasons, chief of which was the
diplomatic inertia to focus on the core issues central to the problems in the region, among which are the Genocidal FDLR forces.
One looks at the meeting between the Presidents as a triumph for diplomacy for their governments, as they consolidate relations, to the benefit not only of their citizens, but the Great Lakes Region as a whole. Above all the Presidents have proved to all that African leaders are capable of putting in place comprehensive,sustainable peace-building frameworks, that achieve results.