The New Times (Kigali)

East Africa: Comesa Officials Consult Rwanda Over DRC's Crisis

A delegation of seven officials from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are in the country to get Rwanda's side of the story about the on going crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The delegation that comprises of members of the Committee of elders, a major COMESA organ for peace and security, had spent three days in DRC this week, where they had visited for the same reason.

This visit fulfills a decision that was made last month when the region's committee on peace and security met in preparation for this year's meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in the region which will take place this month in Kampala, Uganda.

Some members of the team include Sir James Manchan, the former President of Seychlles who is heading the mission, Ambassador Bethwell Kiplagat from Kenya, Ambassador Simbi Mubako from Zimbabwe and Higher Commissioner Bandawe Chisala of Malawi.

On Friday, the delegation visited the Prime Minister, Dr. Pierre Damien Habamuremyi, and had a closed meeting.

"What we want is to make sure that there is peace in the region as this is the beginning of every thing in terms of development," said Sir James Manchan shortly after the meeting with Prime Minister.

He explained that the information they got from the two parties will be communicated to other members of the committee, and that will be basis on which COMESA will base while mediating. Rwanda and Congo are members of COMESA.

Addressing the media, Prime Minister's adviser on Social Affairs, Innocent Nkurunziza, said that the meeting was successful, adding that Rwanda is committed towards contributing to initiatives aimed at bringing peace in the region and beyond.

The delegation also visited the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

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