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Burundi shuns top regional security meeting as intelligence chiefs gather to wipe out negative forces

Security chiefs from the Great Lakes region after their meeting at Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala, in 2018. (PHOTO/File)

KINSHASA – Under the auspices of Mr. Felix Tshisekedi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President and other security chiefs in the region have convened a meeting to assess the current security situation related to the activities of negative forces in the eastern part of the DRC.

The Chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services of the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, supported by the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region and the African Union Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, as well as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) all attended the top level meeting.

However, Burundi who’s a full member was not represented.

The meeting also thought to agree on priority concerted actions to advance the neutralizations of these groups and to build confidence and enhance cooperation between the intelligence officials from the concerned countries.

The meeting took place further to the decision by the 9th Summit of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework, held on 8 October 2018 in Kampala, Uganda, which called for a new approach to ensure greater regional cooperation for the full neutralization of the Negative Forces without delay.

Against this background and following exchanges and discussions, the participants: welcomed the initiative by the Guarantors of the PSC Framework and the DRC National Oversight Mechanism to convene this meeting as an important confidence building measure between the concerned Intelligence and Security Services.

The security chiefs also lauded the progress achieved in the context of the Follow-up Mechanism on the repatriation of disarmed combatants, and encouraged the concerned countries and the Guarantors of the PSC Framework to pursue and conclude the efforts taken.

At the conclusion of the closed-door session, a final report was adopted which among others, envisages the establishment of a technical working group to review in detail the status of negative forces in eastern parts of the DRC, and strategies and initiatives taken to date towards their neutralization.

The intelligence officials called on the international community to ensure continued and appropriate support to the process and initiatives identified by the concerned countries as a result of this and subsequent meetings.

The participants in this meeting reaffirmed their appreciation to DRC new president Mr. Tshisekedi for the hospitality and good working conditions during the meeting.

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