Panafrican News Agency

Rwandan media highlight second postponment of security Quadripartite Summit in Great Lakes region

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA ) -  Rwandan newspapers this week focused on the second postponement of the quadripartite summit that was slated to take place in Goma, a city in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bringing together heads of state from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and host country DR Congo to discuss security issues in the region.

The previous motive behind the initial decision to put it off,  according to diplomatic officials in Kinshasa, was because all the participants had indicated they were busy preparing for the UN General Assembly due later this month.

Under the headline, "President Kagame Prefers Goma Quadripartite Summit is Held Via Videoconference", the independent daily, The Chronicles, wrote that Rwanda’s foreign affairs ministry has informed the DR Congo government that a physical meeting of regional leaders in Goma is not a good idea at the moment.

In a diplomatic note (note verbal), Rwanda’s foreign ministry says President Paul Kagame prefers the summit is held via videoconference.

The newspaper recalls that DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi had been scheduled to host Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye and Angola’s João Lourenço, on September 13 but that did not happen.

According to the newspaper, it had been arranged that the five countries send technical teams to be in Goma on September 9 to prepare the working documents. Delegations at ministerial level were scheduled to also arrive in Goma for their segment on Sept 12.

Burundi pulled out and sent a diplomatic note (note verbal) to DRC, saying it wouldn’t take part in the summit. In the letter, now leaked to media and dated September 8, Burundi says it has a “busy calendar” which doesn’t allow it to take part in the summit.

Instead, the government in Gitega, said it prefers that bilateral engagements are held first with Kinshasa in effort to work on a range of issues between DRC and Burundi, wrote 'The Chronicles'.

In another article, the private-owned English daily, 'Taarifa', wrote that during a Cabinet Meeting held in the capital, Kinshasa, President Tshisekedi said that he had invited the leaders of DRC’s Eastern neighbours for a summit whose agenda will include Peace and security in the region; Diplomatic and political relations between these states; Revival of economic activities in the current context of the fight against COVID-19.

However, 'Taarifa' said it reliably learnt that the summit has been scheduled to take place in September, however, a precise date has not been set.

The newspaper wrote that DRC government has  said, the Goma summit should not be confused with the classic quadripartite that seeks to negotiate Uganda and Rwanda into implementing.

President Tshisekedi has sent his emissaries to Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to clarify the agenda and the specific questions that will be at the heart of the discussions, the newspaper said.

In another article, "The East African" daily newspaper wrote that the summit will now be held virtually “at a later date due to the constraints of Covid-19.”

Under the headline, "Great Lakes Region summit in Goma postponed", the newspaper wrote that this mini-summit was planned in particular to promote a common response to the problems of insecurity in eastern DR Congo.

The mini-summit which was postponed indefinitely will address three themes: Peace and security in the region, diplomatic and political relations between these states, and the revival of economic activities in the context of the current fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the newspaper said.

-0- PANA TWA/VAO 19Sept2020