Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni (R) and his DRC counterpart in a warm handshake after the meeting. PPU PHOTO.
Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart, Joseph Kabila have agreed that the DRC-M23 Peace Talks also known as the Kampala Dialogue, should be brought to a conclusion as soon as possible.
I actually had reached the obviously incorrect conclusion that the DR Congo - M23 talks had concluded. In fact my opinion was that Lambert Mende who seems to have orchestrated the DR Congo side of things had done rather well at avoiding the whole peace agreement fiasco.
" All in all I rather suspect Lambert Mende has out thought and out maneuvered everyone and with the added bonus of making all the VIP's in Kampala look like a bunch of clowns. Take a bow that man. "
The decision was reached Monday in a meeting between the two heads of state held at Entebbe state house. It came after the peace talks stalled in October as a result of disagreements between the rebels and government negotiators.
What on earth is the point of restarting them. They are history, the only winner from this will be Museveni and the DR Congo don't owe him any favours given his protection of the M23 leadership from not only Congolese justice but from the ICC as well.
President Museveni is the Chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) that urged the two sides to resolve their differences peacefully.
That was not possible and the result was M23 were defeated. Defeat as I have said many times involves a surrender and terms dictated by the winner not a bloody peace agreement.
A communiqué issued by the Presidential Press Unit says that the two presidents agreed that the conclusion of the talks would facilitate the return of the M23 ex-fighters to their country and also pave way for the demobilization process.
I would hope that the DR Congo makes it conditional that the leadership of the ex-M23 fighters will also return and face the charges that the DR Congo government has indicted them for, an acceptable alternative might as I have also suggested be the handing over to the ICC of the accused criminals.
According to the statement, this would also make it possible for Congolese Refugees living in neighboring countries to return home. The statement indicates President Kabila’s re-affirmation to rid the Eastern DRC of all militia including the FDLR and the remains of the Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF.
A peace agreement with M23 in no way would mean it was safe for refugees to return, a peace agreement with a spent force is a waste of everyone's time I very much doubt there would be a huge enthusiasm on the part of the defeated M23 rebels to return.
Monday’s meeting between the two leaders came as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson concludes a week-long mission of the region that was aimed at boosting peace efforts.
At Monday’s meeting, the two presidents also talked about ways of cooperating through the revival of the Joint Permanent Commission which will look into infrastructure as well as border disputes.
Uganda is host to over 170,000 Congolese refugees, with an estimated 10,000 that fled into Uganda in November following clashes between government forces and M23 rebels, according to UNHCR. This recent round of fighting saw the M23 being defeated by the joint effort of the Congolese government forces and the UN Brigade Force.