Museveni, regional leaders commit to countering rebel groups in Eastern DRC

President Museveni, together with other regional leaders have met and agreed to deal with rebel groups in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the mini-summit held via video conference on Wednesday at the initiative of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and attended by Museveni, Paul Kagame(Rwanda) and Joao Manuel Goncalves of Angola, the head of state used the opportunity to discuss subjects of common interest in a bid to strengthen good neighborly relations.

“The Heads of State of the four countries reviewed the security situation in the Great Lakes sub-region, and recalled the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement of February 2013 which affirms the security concerns of the countries of the sub-region, -Great Lakes region,” a joint communique from the meeting reads in part.

“They condemned the activism of negative forces in the Great Lakes sub-region, and reaffirmed their willingness to advocate for the strengthening of the capacities of existing mechanisms in the Great Lakes sub-region in order to cut off negative forces from sources of financing of their activities and to jointly fight against both regional and international mafia networks which contribute the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources in the region.”

The heads of state reaffirmed their determination to consolidate cooperation between states and to pursue the exploration of economic opportunities, including facilitation of cross-border trade and infrastructure to strengthen the regional integration necessary for the consolidation of peace and safety in the region.

The Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo especially the volatile North Kivu  has been a hive of activities from several rebel groups for a long time.

North Kivu borders other provinces including Ituri to the north and South Kivu to the South and has been a battleground for a number of rival armed ethnic groups since 1998.

The province consists of three cities including; Goma, Butembo and Beni as well as six territories including Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru.

The rebel outfits including the Allied Democratic Forces have killed thousands of people and displacing many others in the region as they operate freely in the thick forests of the area, East of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo.

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