By Adam Bukenya updated at 0010 EAT
Seven African heads of state gathered in Kinshasa on Thursday to assess a 2013 agreement aimed at cementing peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s violence-torn east and the Great Lakes region.
The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework aims at fostering efforts to stabilise the region.
Millions of people died from violence, disease or starvation in the 1996-7 and 1998-2003 Congo Wars — a conflict that enmeshed countries from around east and central Africa.
The Kinshasa summit, the 10th in the series, brought together the presidents of the DRC, South Africa, Uganda, Angola, the Republic of Congo, Burundi and the Central African Republic, a diplomat said.
The summit was expected to express concern about logistical and other support for armed groups that remain active in the region.
It would “take note” of joint DRC-Ugandan operations against the most notorious group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the diplomat said.
“The Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework is a structure formed with a determination to end the cycles of conflict and violence that had characterized Africa’s Great Lakes region. There is no security problem we can not defeat in Africa,” President Museveni tweeted Thursday.
The historic operation was launched in the border area late last November, prompted by a string of massacres in eastern DRC and bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
The summit would also congratulate improved relations between Rwanda and Uganda and between Rwanda and Burundi after a long period of tension.
The 2013 accord was eventually signed by a total of 11 countries, including Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.
The next summit will be hosted in 2023 by Burundi.