2 November 2008

Africa: 'Rwanda Not in Congo' Says U.S.'s Frazer

Village Urugwiro — The United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer said yesterday that the United States government has no evidence that Rwanda supports the rebel National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) of Major General Laurent Nkunda.

She was speaking to journalists at Urugwiro Village shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame.

She also revealed that comments earlier attributed to her in the media saying that Rwandan territory is being used to support CNDP were taken out of context and that the US has no evidence that the Rwandan government has a policy of supporting the CNDP in Congo.

Frazer said that her meeting with President Kagame was extremely positive adding that she had a chance to, "talk about the regional implications of the humanitarian crisis in Eastern DR Congo".

The US envoy revealed that she discussed with Kagame how to address the issue of the Democratic for Forces the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.

She added that it was important that CNDP and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) stop fighting, noting that the most important thing is for the ceasefire to hold.

General Nkunda announced a unilateral ceasefire Wednesday as his forces appeared ready to capture the town of Goma.

"They should allow the humanitarian workers to get into the camps," said Frazer.

The US diplomat emphasised the need for Rwanda and Congo to open up lines of communication and address "the fundamentals".

Speaking about the possibility of a European Union (EU) force for the DRC, Frazer said that there is need to define what that force would do.

"In the short term, an outside force like the EU force can come in to improve the humanitarian situation."

Reassessing Monuc

Belgian foreign affairs minister Karel de Gucht who also met President Kagame earlier, told journalists at Urugwiro Village that it is "important that we look again at the mandate of Monuc".

"We will invest a lot of time to see how to re-adopt the mandate of MONUC so that it can work independent of the Congo army," said Gucht.

He added that there is a need to avoid Monuc getting involved in illicit trade in DRC. There have been several reports implicating Monuc in illegal trade of minerals and arms.

Belgium is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Presidents talk

Former Presidential envoy to the Great Lakes region Richard Sezibera who attended both meetings said that there is no meeting planned between Presidents Kagame and Kabila, though both have been in touch by telephone.

Foreign affairs minister, Rosemary Museminali, traveled to Kinshasa Friday.

Copyright © 2008 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.