The New Times (Kigali)

27 November 2012

Rwanda: Support Regional Efforts to Resolve Congo Conflict - Rwandan Envoy

Rwanda's Permanent Representative to the African Union Prof, Joseph Nsengimana, has rallied the AU Peace and Security Council to support a regional roadmap to peace in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nsengimana, also Rwanda's ambassador to Ethiopia, said there was need to support the decisions of the 5th Extra-Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government of the member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) held in Kampala, last Saturday.

"Rwanda would like to see a stable and peaceful neighbour as this would not only benefit DRC, but countries of the entire region, including Rwanda. The need for concerted efforts is crucial. That is why Rwanda is part of and actively supports ICGLR efforts geared towards addressing the current conflict" he told the Council on Monday.

Nsengimana said the outcomes of the Kampala ICGLR summit provided a chance to resolve the conflict and called on the AU and the international community to support them, according to a statement from Rwandan Embassy in Ethiopia.

"Rwanda applauds the decisions taken by the 5th Extraordinary summit of the ICGLR on the security situation in DRC, adherence to the recommendations is a definite path towards sustainable peace in the region and calls upon the DRC government and the M23 to commit to implementing them" the envoy added.

"Nsengimana urged the international community to support regional efforts to resolve the conflict rather than focus efforts on faulty reports and finger pointing," the statement added.

The AU Peace and Security Council emergency meeting was called to consider the outcomes of ICGLR Kampala summit and the evolving security situation in Eastern DRC.

The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Representative of the Gambia to AU, who is the chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council for the month of November.

Others in attendance included the Chairperson of AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Commissioner for AU Peace and Security Ramtane Ramamra, Ambassadors of Uganda (Chair of ICGLR), Mozambique (SADC), South Africa (SADC), USA, Britain, China, Russia and France resident in Addis Ababa and Representatives of UN and EU.

The envoys also overwhelmingly supported the outcomes of the Kampala ICGLR Summit, the Rwandan mission said.

The Kampala summit demanded the withdrawal of M23 rebels from the key eastern city of Goma to a place of "strategic importance" not less than 20km away from the North Kivu provincial capital, and that the Kinshasa government listens and address the "legitimate grievances" of the rebels.

Meanwhile, yesterday senior rebel commanders had said M23 was moving to pullout of Goma, but by press time new reports indicated the rebels had set conditions for the withdrawal.

The rebels accuse President Joseph Kabila of breaking the terms of a March 2009 peace - from which they take their name - that had seen them integrated into the regular army.

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