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Kabila and Kagame agree to summit, EU says

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-01

The EU development commissioner Louis Michel said Friday that the leaders of DR Congo and Rwanda had "signalled" their agreement to attend an emergency summit on the crisis in Congo.

 
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame have agreed to attend an emergency summit on the crisis in Congo, the EU development and humanitarian aid commissioner Louis Michel said Friday.
   
"I had asked (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon to organise a meeting at the highest level," Michel said. "President Kabila has signalled his accord and so has President Kagame."
   
Michel said both leaders were clearly sincere about "opting for dialogue and putting an end to the reasons that are undermining the east" of the country -- the scene of protracted fighting between rebels and government forces.
   
The meeting will be held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi under the aegis of the United Nations and the African Union, he said, with the objective to "find a road map with mechanisms of verification".
   
Kagame and Kabila had shunned a similar summit in November last year, also in Nairobi.
   
The EU commissioner reiterated his backing for European troops to be despatched to the Congo's volatile mineral-rich east to ensure humanitarian supplies.
   
Michel, a former Belgian foreign minister with a long-standing interest in central Africa, was in Kinshasa on Friday at the end of a regional tour that also took him to Goma and the Rwandan capital Kigali.
   
His mission focused on the conflict as well as on the humanitarian crisis faced by those displaced by the fighting in the east of Congo.
   
Rebels of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), led by Laurent Nkunda, declared a unilateral truce Wednesday as they surrounded the strategic city of Goma after routing government forces in Nord-Kivu province.
   
Fighting resumed in the east of Congo on August 28 in violation of a ceasefire agreed in January, marking a return to unrest that has gripped the region since the mid-1990s.
   
Some 220,000 people have been displaced since August, bringing to more than one million the number forced from their homes in Nord-Kivu, a province bordering Rwanda that totals five million.
  

Date created : 2008-10-31

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