Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Great Lakes security talks make little progress

Ministers from Africa’s Great Lakes region made little headway in two days of talks on security overshadowed by growing violence and mutual mistrust.

Foreign and defence ministers from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) appealed for United Nations peacekeepers to intensify efforts to stamp out militias plaguing eastern DRC.

Officials who took part in the closed-door meetings, which ended on Monday, said they were largely bad tempered, with DRC accusing Tutsi-led Rwanda of backing the DRC’s rebel Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda.

The DRC accused Rwanda of sending demobilised troops to join Nkunda’s men, who have clashed with DRC government troops in heavy fighting over the past few weeks, the officials said.

Addressing journalists after the talks ended, Rwandan Foreign Minister Charles Murigande denied the allegations.

”If a demobilised Rwandan decides to go DRC to do whatever he wishes, it is the responsibility of the DRC government to arrest him,” Murigande said.

His Congolese counterpart, Mbusa Nyamwisi, said DRC’s military was determined to pacify the east.

”We will not only fight Nkunda’s forces, we will fight every destabilising force in the region,” he told reporters.

A joint communiqué issued after the meeting called on UN peacekeepers ”to intensify efforts” towards working with DRC forces to eliminate ”negative forces” in the lawless east.

All parties also ”expressed concern about deteriorating security condition … in particular the destabilising role of former general Laurent Nkunda and ex-FAR [interahamwe rebels]”.

Until a UN-mediated ceasefire last week, eastern DRC’s North Kivu province was the scene of two weeks of battles between the Congolese army and fighters loyal to Nkunda, who has led a three-year rebellion against the central government.

UN agencies say the area, where 300 000 people have been forced from their homes since November, faces a humanitarian emergency as malnutrition rises among the displaced civilians. — Reuters

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Deputy president Mabuza begs Tshwane voters: ‘Don’t abandon the ANC’

Angry Atteridgeville residents hurl insults at ‘dysfunctional’ ANC full of ‘corrupt individuals’ as Mabuza fails to placate them with party T-shirts and doeks

Taxi operators clash with cops over disputed Route B97 in...

Three suspects remain in custody following their arrest on charges of attempted murder and assault after eight taxis were impounded

SA teens, you’re next in the queue for a vaccine...

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register to receive their Covid-19 jab from 20 October. This group will be given only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for now

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×