Saturday, November 8, 2008

Africa: DRC Accuse Uganda of Blocking Rwanda Debate

6 November 2008 - Grace Matsiko, The Monitor (Kampala)

The Democratic Republic of Congo is unhappy with Uganda for blocking a discussion on her report accusing Rwanda of aggression at the recent Tripartite Summit held in Kampala.

Diplomatic sources said yesterday, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) wanted her statement accusing Rwanda of allegedly backing renegade Congolese General, Laurent Nkunda tabled before the heads of state summit held on October 22 but Uganda blocked the discussion, which infuriated Congo diplomats.

The rebels have been fighting President Joseph Kabila's government since 2004. Uganda hosted the first Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (Comesa)- East African Community - Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Tripartite Summit, which recommended the establishment of a free trade area for the three regional blocs.

However, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador James Mugume denied yesterday that Uganda blocked DRC's report on Rwanda.

President Paul Kagame's special envoy to the Great Lakes region, Mr Richard Sezibera, denied allegations that Rwanda is backing Gen. Nkunda. He accused DRC of backing a Hutu rebel group linked to Rwanda's 1994 genocide.