News of Rwanda (Kigali)

23 November 2012

Rwanda - UK Prime Minister Welcomes Kampala Deal On M23

Photo: Eddie Ssejjoba/New Vision
DRC President Joseph Kabila, left, with South Sudan minister of commerce and investments, Garanga Dung Akwang in Kampala.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed support for the trilateral communiqué released following talks in Kampala between President Paul Kagame with Uganda and DR Congo counterparts over the situation in the east.

In a separate phone conversation, Mr Cameron, speaking on Thursday evening from Brussels at the EU summit, asked President Kagame "to do everything he could" to help DRC resolve its internal uprising. President Kagame and Mr Cameron, who have maintained a close relationship even before the latter became PM, spoke as a senior British Minister was visiting Rwanda.

The PM later also spoke to President Kabila - encouraging him "to work closely with Rwanda and Uganda to implement the communiqué".

Under the auspices of Uganda's President Museveni, the three leaders met at an impromptu summit in Kampala on Wednesday in which DRC's leader agreed to hold direct talks with the M23 rebels. In return, the leaders said they would ensure the rebels pull back from DRC's cities - especially Goma.

On Thursday, the M23 leader Bishop Jean Marie Runiga travelled to Kampala to meet with President Museveni - amid reports he had vowed his movement would not withdraw from Goma because they did not trust Kinshasa.

Meanwhile, following the Kampala deal, Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday urged the international community to support ongoing regional efforts to resolve the crisis in Eastern DRC rather than pay heed to a recycled and discredited report by the UN Group of Experts.

"Rwanda has made every effort to respond comprehensively to all allegations in this compromised report," said Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.

"We are not interested in rehashing all that is wrong with the report but the fact that it is labelled "expert" or "UN" doesn't mean it is truthful. Rwanda is neither the cause nor a complicating factor of the problems in the DRC but part of the solution."

Mushikiwabo said that the breakthrough reached on Wednesday in Kampala by the three Presidents was the best chance for peace in the region since the current crisis began

"We in the region have spent many months working for a solution to this crisis, I hope our regional and international partners will welcome and support the agreement reached in Kampala this week by the heads of state of DRC, Uganda, Rwanda," she said.

"It represents the most effective way to end the conflict and bring about peace and progress in the DRC."

Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that Rwanda was keen to see the new impetus succeed because the absence of solutions to the conflict in the DRC affects Rwanda negatively.

"We are dealing with complex issues here, success doesn't depend only on Rwanda and the responsibility of the international community cannot be pushed aside. We therefore hope that all parties will support this regional effort."

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