A meeting of foreign and defence ministers from the 11 member states comprising the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), on the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), got underway this morning in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
The meeting is a build-up to the ICGLR Heads of State summit set for tomorrow.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni holds the rotating chair of ICGLR, a platform set up back in 2004 to help end armed conflicts across the region - with a particular emphasis on the Congo.
The meeting was decided on early last month after the grouping agreed, in principle, on the deployment of a "neutral force" in DRC to help disarm armed groups in the country's volatile eastern region, including the M23 rebels and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), composed of militias largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Last week, Sudan hosted a meeting of ICGLR defence ministers designed to lay the preliminary framework for the proposed force set to be deployed along the DRC-Rwanda border.
Tension has risen between Kinshasa and Kigali in the recent weeks after the Congolese government accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebellion, which began as a mutiny in April after the collapse of a 2009 peace deal between President Joseph Kabila's government and the former CNDP rebels.
Rwanda has rejected the accusations and last week presented to the UN Security Council a rebuttal to an addendum by a Group of Experts interim report which also linked Kigali to the rebels but fell short of seeking Kigali's views on the matter.
And over the last few days, the experts' interim report came under increasing scrutiny after it emerged that the group's coordinator Steve Hege was a longstanding critic of Kigali with instead a soft spot for the FDLR militia.
Hege's previous publications which sought to cast FDLR in a positive light were widely circulated last week.