News and Views
Uganda, Angola leaders hold talks over DR Congo conflict
President Museveni yesterday held talks with his Angolan counterpart Jose Edourdo dos Santos over what insiders say are talks focused on the growing instability in DR Congo.
According to sources, Mr Museveni and Mr Santos discussed among other issues, Angola’s desire to help the DR Congo militarily. Mr Museveni also met with the Speaker of Angola’s Parliament, Mr Antonio Paulo Kassoma. “I cannot tell you what we have discussed…but the results will be known during the Kampala’s summit,” Mr Museveni told journalists yesterday in Luanda.
Relatedly, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in the Uganda today. Top on her agenda with Mr Museveni will be a discussion on the security situation in DR Congo.
Also to be discussed in the hunt for elusive Lord Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony and his commanders. The Luanda talks come at a time when Angolan troops are reportedly advancing on the M23 rebel mutineers from the Atlantic Ocean near Kitona, just a week after Congo’s President Joseph Kabila appealed to Angola for “help” in dealing with the rebel mutineers who are now said to be only 15 kilometres to the provision town of Goma.
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Oryem Okello said the President was in Luanda to consult with his counterpart ahead of a summit to be held in Kampala mid-August on security in the region.
“For avoidance of accusation that the chair (Uganda) has taken decisions without consulting other nations, he (Mr Museveni) must meet all stakeholders before the upcoming summit,” Mr Oryem said. Uganda will chair the ICGLR summit mid this month.
Congolese Civil Society organisations last Thursday condemned Uganda over what they say were sightings of six Ugandan military trucks that allegedly crossed into the DR Congo with troop. This prompted Mr Kabila to send a “special message” to Mr Museveni over the matter. Uganda, however, denied any involvement with the mutineers.
For the first time last Saturday, Congo’s president Joseph Kabila told Congolese state television that he had “questioned” Uganda over its alleged support for the rebel M23. He also said Rwanda’s involvement with the M23 rebels was an “open secret.”