By Julius Odeke
President Yoweri Museveni has proposed a three-pronged solution to the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; namely the involvement of local communities who bear the brunt of fighting and its aftermath; regional effort involving the DRC and her neighbouring countries and the international effort involving regional effort and development partners.
The President currently in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa was yesterday attending the United Nations sponsored First Regional Oversight Mechanism of Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework meeting on the Democratic Republic of Congo, co-chaired by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma at the AU Commission Headquarters.
The meeting reviewed recent developments in the DRC’s Eastern region and discussed the establishment of benchmarks and appropriate follow-up mechanisms in support of the local initiatives under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) under the chairmanship of President Yoweri Museveni, that work towards ending the conflict and violence, and establishing durable peace in the region.
The meeting that was attended by other Presidents in the region including H.E. Joseph Kabila of the DRC, H.E. Paul Kagame of Rwanda, H.E. Sasso Ngweso of the Republic of Congo, H.E. Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and H.E. Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan, recognized that it was the DRC that bears the primary responsibility of maintaining peace and security in the embattled eastern part of the country.
The President was accompanied to the meeting by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Sam Kutesa.
President Museveni later joined other African leaders attending the 21st Regular Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government during which he recommended that the International Criminal Court (ICC) get out of Kenyan situation because the Kenyan tribes which caused violence five years ago are the same tribes which united and voted overwhelmingly for Uhuru Kenyatta as their President.
“What then is the problem of the ICC when the Kenyan people have spoken through their vote? Mr. Museveni asked.
He later held sideline bilateral meetings with a number of African leaders who included President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
President Yoweri Museveni also received Russian President Vladmir Putins’ Special Representative to Africa and Head of Russian delegation to the celebrations of the OAU/AU 50th anniversary, Mr Mikhail Margelov. Mr.Margelov delivered a special message from President Putin.
Back to his residence later in the evening Mr Museveni received President Jacob Zuma of South Africa who came to meet him. The two leaders held talks of common interest between Uganda and South Africa.