Uganda hosted East African leaders to find a solution to the on going crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo.Among the solutions being pushed ,is coming up with a joint force to keep peace in the vast African mineral rich country.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni hosted talks on Monday attended by Congo President Joseph Kabila, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the leaders of Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), a group that has mooted the idea of a regional force to neutralise the M23.
But the talks to get the proposed 4,000-strong force off the ground have so far failed to make a breakthrough.
Museveni directed his defence minister, Chrispus Kiyonga, to convince rebels and Kinshasa officials to discuss the crisis.
While the rebels are willing, the Democratic Republic of Congo has rejected any negotiations with them.Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende described suggestions that the government was preparing to talk to the rebels as a “complete lie”.
“It is totally false, M23 has been condemned as a negative force by the ICGLR… They are just trying to affect the morale of the Congolese people and create confusion… We have absolutely not changed our position (on non negotiation),” Mende told Reuters by telephone from the Congolese capital Kinshasa.
M23 rebels led by Gen. Bosco Ntaganda in April launched rebellion on the Government of President Kabila leading to the displacement of over 260,000 Congolese while another 60,000 have crossed to Uganda and Rwanda to seek refuge.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon while at the summit noted that he was deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian conditions, which continue to deteriorate “and pose threat to the stability of the wider Great Lakes Region.”
“The M23 has recently made advances Northwards from its positions in North Kivu, is continuing to destablise activities in the area that it occupies and is perpetrating serious human rights violations, including child recruitment and sexual violence,” Ban observed.