If we want a solution, we must talk. says DRC Senate chief Leo Kengo

Leo Kengo wa Dondo the DRC Senate Presiden

Leo Kengo wa Dondo the DRC Senate President

The current security crisis in eastern DR Congo can only be solved through peaceful means with support of the region, the Speaker of the Congolese Senate has said.

Léon Kengo Wa Dondo was speaking to journalists shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro in Kigali yesterday.

The top senator is in the country with a delegation of six members of the Congolese Senatorial Committee on Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, who also met with their Rwandan counterparts during a separate meeting.

Kengo also said constant dialogue on mutual interests was needed in order to solve regional conflicts, particularly in his country’s war-torn eastern provinces of South and North Kivu, where several armed militias continue to kill, torture and loot.

Speaking to journalists earlier after the opening of the Rwanda-DR Congo senatorial diplomacy session at Parliamentary Buildings, Kengo said: “If we want a solution, we must talk.”

He added: “If I have left DR Congo to come here, it is because I want to talk. And if those who talk have the will to succeed, they want to succeed and I hope we shall succeed in creating conditions for peace and stability in our region.”

The senators from both countries discussed how to complement actions by their respective governments with a view to finding a sustainable solution to the ongoing crisis, which has since driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, with some crossing to Rwanda and Uganda.

Meeting Kagame

At Village Urugwiro, Sen. Kengo told reporters he had discussed bilateral and security-related issues with President Kagame.

He said the meeting was helpful in terms of understanding the nature of both the causes and solutions to DRC’s conflicts.

“The President talked profoundly about his views on the problem and its solutions. I think that he has explained his view that this problem is more political than military and we appreciate his honesty,” the DR Congo Senate head said.

The visit comes months after relations between Rwanda and DR Congo suffered a major setback, after the latter accused Kigali of backing the M23 rebels, one of the armed groups operating in the country’s east–and now one of the main targets of a newly authorised UN Intervention Brigade in the volatile region.

Rwanda has since rejected the allegations–which were also made by a UN experts team in a highly controversial report –as has done Uganda, who are now trying to broker a peace deal between Kinshasa and the M23 rebels.

The talks have since stalled in the wake of the UN’s decision to deploy a military force to attack the rebels, who accused Joseph Kabila’s government of breaching the terms of a peace deal that had ended an earlier rebellion.

Kengo also said his delegation and their Rwandan counterparts had underscored the importance of both countries living at peace with each other so as to promote joint infrastructure projects.

Rwanda and DR Congo are both members of the Community for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL)–along with Burundi–and both have mutual interests in the rich waters of Lake Kivu.

“Rwandans have skills in the sectors of agriculture, livestock, and services, why can’t we bring our people together so that we take these problems in our own hands and solve them in the best interests of our people and our two countries?” Kengo wondered.

Rwanda is one of the regional countries that recently signed a UN-sponsored framework to help restore peace in DRC.

Kengo’s counterpart, the President of the Rwandan Senate, Dr Jean Damascène Ntawukuliryayo, agreed with the former’s assessment.

“Our engagement should focus on the revitalisation of the CEPGL and on the support of inter-Congolese dialogue for the resolution of all the problems at the regional level,” he said.

He added: “If we don’t heed time, our financial and human resources risk being solely concentrated to resolving recurrent conflicts to the detriment of improving the living conditions of our people, and the future generations will deplore our choices.”

The Congolese delegation arrived in Kigali on Monday for a three-day visit to help promote ties between the two parliaments.

 

Contact email: editorial[at]newtimes.co.rw

2 thoughts on “If we want a solution, we must talk. says DRC Senate chief Leo Kengo

  1. congolese senate president kengo wa dongo leon meets congolese refugees in rwanda.

    senate president kengo wa dongo leon led a high level congolese delegation to meet congolese banyarwanda refugees in rwandan hinterland: byumba! first time in 20 years! woow! a sign of times, i tell you.

    let this elderly man, kengo wa dondo leon, not be like the Goma city mayor, named tumbula, who turned up 3 years ago in the congolese banyarwanda refugee camp, warsaw ghetto type, in byumba to say, “those of you who are itching for repatriation are welcome. they can even pack now and come along with me”. the man was delivering a public address as a congolese politician on official duty tour. goma is the easternmost congolese city bordering rwanda: it is actually so adjacent to north-western rwandan city gisenyi. both lie on the kivu lake side, with magnificent beaches for gisenyi and virtually none for goma.

    the mayor must have been one of those nondescript punks that take up political jobs in d r congo, knowing not what their charge/responsibility is. in just one breath you issue repatriaton instructions to refugees that have been in exile for close to 20 years, without consulting with authorities representing the host government & UN high commission for refugees. mayor tumbula is a person to find out and see who he represented at the time of his address in congolsese banyarwanda refugee ghetto, gihembe, byumba. did he want to deliver livestock to hungry wolves and dogs hiding in north-kivu jungles?

    some refugees did indeed return home, and put up in makeshifts dwellings in kitchanga. they were very recently butchered en masse by joint armed forces of bandit soldiers commandeered-in-chief by “general” joseph kabila. the kitchanga “general” who got airborne supplies of arms and ammunitions from MONUSCO, in lukweti (masisi) to team up with local FARDC bandits (kabila’s army) to execute self-repatriated refugees is known as karairi. ref. media!

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