Kigali, 18 October 2013
Today at Urugwiro Village, President Kagame received a delegation of five Great Lakes Envoys led by UNSG Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson, and including Russ Feingold, US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the DRC; Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary General in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO; Koen Vervaeke, Senior EU Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region; and Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the African Union to the Great Lakes Region.
President Kagame expressed his full support for the continued efforts of the Great Lakes Envoys towards the conclusion of the Kampala talks within the agreed timeline:
“This window of opportunity should not be lost. The two parties involved should take advantage of international and regional goodwill to resolve this crisis. It is time that we focus our effort on unlocking the potential for peace and development in the region.”
Speaking to the press following the meeting with President Kagame, UNSG Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson shared her optimism for the peaceful resolution of the DRC crisis:
“We are not parties to the talks but we have been very supportive of a good resolution and we now return to Kampala hopeful to see that resolution. We have a strong indication of support from President Kagame.”
The envoys objective was to brief President Kagame on their support for the ongoing talks in Kampala between the Government of DRC and M23 as well as the progress of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC. The envoys returned to Uganda from Kigali and will continue on to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mary Baine said the envoys also told President Kagame that MONUSCO was committed to address the issue of other armed groups including FDLR and that they understand that sustainable peace in Eastern Congo will only be possible if all armed groups are held accountable.
The delegation included Mary Robinson, UNSG Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Russ Feingold, US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes and the DRC, Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO, Koen Vervaeke, Senior EU Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region, Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the African Union to the Great Lakes Region and Modibo Touré, Special Advisor to the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region.