Regional Leaders’ summit on peace and security to be held virtually

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 7 October 2020 at 09:00

A meeting attracting regional leaders will convened today Wednesday, October 7, 2020, bringing together the leaders of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Angola to discuss peace and security in the Great Lakes Region.

The meeting which is part of the initiative by DRC President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, to convene a meeting of regional leaders to discuss security matters and the simmering diplomatic and bilateral relations.

In September, President Tshisekedi invited President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye and Angola’s João Lourenço in what was expected to be a physical meeting of the Heads of State to discuss regional matters.

However, the meeting has not taken place due to many reasons, mainly surrounding busy schedules of Heads of State as well as the New Coronavirus restrictions which made the organization of the meeting difficult. According to the organizers and hosts, DRC, the meeting will focus on peace, security, diplomatic and political relations.

The DRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed that the meeting which had earlier been scheduled to take place in Goma, Eastern DRC, will take place virtually this time, with all countries expected to be on board.

The meeting comes at a time when relations between regional countries are not at their best. Rwanda has maintained that it remains ready to work with neighboring countries especially Uganda and Burundi if they are willing to address some of the challenges that have affected their relations.

Experts say if President Tshisekedi pulls off the meeting, it will be a major step towards fully restoring peace in the Great Lakes Region and could address all the security-related challenges and thaw relations between states.

Since taking office in January 2019, President Tshisekedi has expressed the willingness to restore relations between Kinshasa and neighbors in an effort to pacify the region and end decades of conflict particularly in the Eastern part of the mineral-rich country which has been ravaged by years of conflict and violence.

President Tshisekedi has also been crucial in the mending of relations between Rwanda and Uganda, working with President Lourenço on the Quadripartite summit to mend relations between the two countries.

A meeting attracting regional leaders will bring together the leaders of DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Angola to discuss peace and security in the Great Lakes Region.