Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today held a virtual summit with counterparts from Rwanda, Angola and the Democratic The Republic of Congo. In a press statement issued by the Presidential Press Secretary, Linda Nabusayi, the summit held this afternoon under the direction of DR Congo’s Félix- Tshisekedi.
It was also attended by Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Angola’s João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço. According to the statement, the summit was aimed at discussing issues of common interest with a view of strengthening good neighbourly relations between the countries concerned and strengthening of cooperation for pacification and stabilization of the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes sub-region.
“The Head of States… 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. In this regard, they reaffirmed their willingness to combine their efforts to eradicate the negative forces and armed groups operating in the Great Lakes sub-region” said the statement.
The virtual summit follows two others held before the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) held in Luanda, Angola, that were geared at bridging the differences between Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries have had frosty relations in the recent years stemming from the accusations from both sides of supporting negative forces in each other’s country.
The climax of this frosty relationship was the closure of the Rwanda border to Rwandans moving to and from Uganda now for almost two years. The previous summits have so far proven incapable of breaking the jinx between the two countries.
According to the press statement, the summit also 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 region 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 Great Lakes sub-region.
The four presidents also discussed the harmful effects of the Coronavirus disease, particularly the loss of human lives recorded in the region and the world as well as its negative impact on their economies. They agreed to set up a cross-border plan to strengthen surveillance and control measures in response to COVID-19 and other pathologies with the epidemic potential between the four countries.