- Title: BURUNDI: Military agreement signed in Burundi to stabilize the region
- Date: 23rd April 2007
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Kiswahili) ESPERANCE MAPENDO, CONGOLESE LIVING IN BUJUMBURA, SAYING: "We, the population, are happy because we will see the four countries unite and we will live in peace. For example, for us traders, this will allow us to travel easily."
- Embargoed: 8th May 2007 13:00
- Location: Burundi
- Country: Burundi
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEBGVST3XX8BE82WPHI7J9JOCO
- Story Text: Army chiefs from Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda have agreed to jointly take military action against rebel groups that are destabilising the region.
Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda have agreed on Wednesday (April 18) to work together to maintain peace and security in the region.
The four countries held a one day meeting and resolved to take joint military actions against all armed groups operating in the region, which it characterised as "negative forces", especially Rwandan rebels still active in the DRC.
"The objective is to set up a joint general staff, a general staff that can assess the situation which is prevailing in the region and consequently adopt common strategies that interest not only one country, but all the countries and which even involve all the combined forces of our respective countries," said General Germain Niyoyankana the Burundi Defense Minister.
Military operations against any rebel forces in the region will help to restore sustainable stability in the region after years of conflict in all of the countries.
"When there's security, one can leave here to go to work in congo and no one tells you to go back to your country because you are Burundian. Even if you want to go to Rwanda, you can go, this helps to make business much easier," said Elvis Bintwari, a resident of Bujumbura.
"We, the population, are happy because we will see the four countries unite and we will live in peace. For example, for us traders, this will allow us to travel easily," Esperance Mapendo, a Congolese living in Bujumbura.
Rwanda and Uganda have in the past sent troops into the DRC saying that they were chasing rebel groups who had attacked their country from Congolese territory. DRC on the other hand has accused the two of invading its territory with the intention of looting its resources.
The four countries agreed that such actions would no longer happen in the future. Instead, there would be collaboration and co-ordination in attacks against the armed groups.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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