DRC: ICGLR Countries Condemn M23 Rebel Takeover Of Goma City

2483 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The ministers also want the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to mandate the neutral international force and seek the support of the UN Security Council to deploy the force and provide financial, technical and logistical support

A meeting of foreign affairs ministers under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has condemned the M23 rebel movement for violation of cessation of hostilities by capturing the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The condemnation is contained in a four-page communiqué issued after a hastily organized 5th ICGLR Extra-Ordinary Regional Inter-Ministerial Committee Meeting on the security situation in eastern DRC, following the M23 capture of Goma in North Kivu.
The communiqué says the Tutsi-dominated M23 rebels’ takeover of Goma on Tuesday disregarded the ceasefire brokered by President Yoweri Museveni, the current chairperson of ICGLR.
The meeting called upon all parties involved in hostilities in eastern DRC to immediately stop and allow the ICGLR to intervene in finding durable solutions through political and diplomatic processes.
The ICGLR foreign affairs meeting took place as the DRC president Joseph Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame jetted into Uganda for a crisis meeting over the conflict in eastern DRC. The outcome of their meeting has not been made public yet.
Mid this year, President Museveni, brokered a cessation of hostilities deal in which the M23 rebels were not supposed to capture any more territories in addition to bases they had occupied already on the border with Uganda and Rwanda.
The meeting attracted foreign affairs ministers from nine ICGLR members. Angola and the Central African Republic never signed the communiqué.
A meeting of ICGLR defense ministers in Kampala mid this year also agreed to create a neutral international force to be stationed in eastern DRC to quell down the situation. The meeting refused for Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to be part of the neutral force.
The neutral force was supposed to have been created in three months, a time period that has since elapsed.
The meeting commended the different defense mechanisms and concepts that have been created towards creation and deployment of the neutral international force.
The minister appealed to the international community to mobilize resources and provide diplomatic and humanitarian support to the ICGLR regional initiative on the crisis in eastern DRC.
They, however, said the Committee of Ministers of Defense need to clarify on the role of the international observers in eastern DRC before it is presented to the ICGLR Heads of States and Government Summit.
The meeting also urged the ICGLR member states and other African countries to contribute troops as soon as possible. Tanzania has already offered to contribute troops to the neutral international force.
The ministers also want the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to mandate the neutral international force and seek the support of the UN Security Council to deploy the force and provide financial, technical and logistical support
The meeting recommended that the 5th ICGLR Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State be convened at the earliest possible time to evaluate developments in eastern DRC and take appropriate action.
On the role of Uganda as Chair of the ICGLR, the communiqué says the meeting commended President Museveni’s role in spearheading the ICGLR Peace Initiative on the security situation in eastern DRC and reiterated their trust and confidence in the chairmanship of Uganda.
Speaking to URN, State Minister for International Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, who signed the communiqué on behalf of Uganda, said at times the meeting was quite tense. He attributed that to the volatile situation in eastern DRC.


About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."