LUANDA, Jan 15 — Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos has held discurssions here with his visiting South African counterpart, President Jacob Zuma, on the political and security situation prevailing in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Director of the Angolan Foreign Ministry’s Africa and Middle East Department, Joaquim do Espírito Santo, told journalists here Wednesday that President Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ for Defence and Security, had come to Luanda to discuss with his local colleague, who is the current president of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), on issues concerning the reinforcement of regional and international co-operation.
He recalled that in August last year, the ICGLR heads of State and Government had given the Democratic Forces of Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who are operating in the eastern DRC until Jan 2, 2015 to voluntarily disarm.
It was also decided that failure to comply with the voluntary disarmament deadline would attract military actions for compulsory disarming, the diplomat added.
Espirito Santo said it had been found that besides failure to comply with the deadline, the FDLR continued to recruit staff into its ranks, including children, which shows its unwillingness to surrender.
In view of this, he added, the heads of State’s decision of August last year remains valid, which justifies one more summit.
As to the start of military operations, the diplomat said the command of the operations is in the hands of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (Monusco).
“Monusco has a UN mandate to finish off the negative forces in the DRC. Military actions have been successfully carried out against the M23, it is now left to combat the other negative forces that persist in destabilising the DRC territory,” he stated.