Regional leaders meet over crisis in the DRC
Leaders of the Great Lakes region will discuss the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at a meeting in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday, a senior African Union official announced.
Peace and Security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra did not say how many leaders would attend, but sources have told Agence France-Presse that both DRC President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan leader Paul Kagame were expected in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
On Friday, a source in Kabila's office said a meeting between the two leaders was not scheduled, "but is not ruled out either".
Heads of state from International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) countries were in any case due to meet, Lamamra told journalists after a Peace and Security Council meeting.
The 11-nation group comprises Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.
If the two presidents do meet face to face, it will be their first since high-ranking Rwandan officials were accused by the UN of backing the M23 Tutsi rebels, who have been fighting DRC troops in the east since April.
Rwanda has repeatedly denied the charges.
Rwanda in turn has accused Kinshasa of renewing cooperation with Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern DRC since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Reporters asked Côte d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, currently the chairperson of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), if the council had discussed the credibility of the UN's allegations against Rwanda.
"There were no discussions about that," he said.
On Wednesday, foreign ministers from the ICGLR called on armed groups in eastern DRC to stop fighting and on member states to desist from supporting them.. .