Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

7 January 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: AU Ready to Tackle DR Congo Crisis - Amb. Lamamra

The ongoing crisis in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be intensively debated by top African leaders during the next summit of the African Union (AU) to find lasting solutions built on a thorough understanding of root causes, according Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, the AU commissioner for peace and security.

The commissioner made the commitment on Monday after meeting President Paul Kagame at the end of his three-day visit to the country, which, he emphasized, was particularly meant to better understand the conflict situation in the Great Lakes Region.

"I believe that this trip has helped me to gain deeper knowledge of Rwanda's analysis of this conflict situation, in particular the prospect of a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the eastern DRC," Lamamra said after meeting President Kagame.

The AU summit is scheduled to take place on January 27 and 28 in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Abba.

The AU commissioner arrived in Rwanda on Friday after visiting the DRC where he also met top officials to discuss the situation in the Great Lakes as part of AU efforts to find sustainable peace, security and stability in the region.

In his point of view, the visit was very important not only in the sense that both the people of this region and the AU are important to each other, but it also offered an opportunity to understand the root causes of the issue that will enable to find lasting solutions for stability of the region.

"We need to be sensitive to the expectations, to the hopes of the people of the region and we also need to assist each other in any way, to dispel the misunderstanding of, be ready to address the root causes of the issues so that the solutions that will be brought about will be lasting, just and they will build on a realistic approach to the problems at hand," Lamamra pointed out.

The AU's resolve to be more involved in resolving the DRC conflict based on a deep understanding of the issue was welcomed by the government. "Handling such an issue isn't about looking at one aspect, but going to the root causes that have existed for a long time," said Louise Mushikiwabo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. "Solving the issue starting with its root causes is really a very important thing. And we are happy that the AU is now keen on finding lasting solutions for it."

Lamamra also visited Rwanda's borders with DR Congo and Burundi, the refugee transit camps as well as the facility of the Rwandan demobilization and reintegration commission.

Apart from the crisis in the region, President Kagame and the AU commissioner also discussed many important issues about Africa, Pan-Africanism, Africa's renaissance, and the 50 years anniversary of the AU which is being celebrated during this entire year among others.

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