Kibaki attends Great Lakes Region Summit

February 1, 2010 12:00 am

, ADDIS ABABA, Feb 1 – President Mwai Kibaki, who is in Addis Ababa for the 14th AU Summit, on Monday joined other Heads of State of the great lakes region for a Special Extra-Ordinary Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
During the meeting chaired by the current ICGLR chairman, President Rupia Banda of Zambia , former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Olesegun Obasanjo of Nigeria briefed the Heads of State on the current situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two formers Heads of State are the facilitators of the peace initiative in the great lakes region under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Framework.
In briefing the Extra-Ordinary Summit, the two facilitators noted that the current situation in Congo has improved remarkably since the signing of the 2009 Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Congress National Du Peuple. 
Noting that the amnesty law extended to ex-rebels was still in force, the two facilitators informed the Summit that fighting had ceased and substantial progress has been made in incorporating ex-rebels into the Government. 
The two facilitators further noted that the Peace Agreement and the incorporation of rebels into the Government have improved the security and humanitarian situation in Eastern DRC .
The Extra-Ordinary Summit was also briefed on the joint operations between Rwanda and the DRC as well as Uganda, Sudan and Central Africa Republic. The two peace facilitators noted that the joint military operations have successfully curtailed insurgent activities of the Lords Resistance Army, FDLR and the Interahamwe.
The two former Presidents, who were recently in Nairobi to brief President Kibaki as the first Convenor of the International Conference of Great Lakes Region, stepped down as facilitators today following the expiry of their mandate.
The conference was attended by among others the Presidents of Uganda, Tanzania , Rwanda , Burundi and Zambia . Others in the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and the director of Africa and African Union Affairs Amb. Patrick Wamoto.
Shortly thereafter, President Kibaki held bilateral talks with President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi of the Union of the Comoros .
During the meeting, the two leaders deliberated on the forthcoming East African Brigade (EASBRIG) Summit that will be held in Moroni in the Comoros on March 17th, this year.
The President of Comoros informed President Kibaki that the EASBRIG Summit will be attended by ten Heads of State and it would be a great honour to him and the people of Comoros if President Kibaki attended.
This, he said, would further enhance the cordial and brotherly relations existing between the two countries.
In his response, President Kibaki informed the Comoros Head of State that Kenya was a founder member of EASBRIG and it would be important for Kenya to attend.
During the talks, the two leaders dwelt on bilateral relations with the President of Comoros indicating that his planned visit to Kenya later in the year would be a suitable opportunity to sign cooperation agreements between the two countries.
The President of Comoros expressed his appreciation that Kenya Airways flies to Moroni three times a week adding that this was another good sign of the fraternal relations existing between the two countries.
Later, President Kibaki joined other Heads of State and for the first working session of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) which too place along the sidelines of the African Union Summit.
The first working session, convened by the President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, deliberated on the challenges and progress to date in the effort to meet the United Nations goal of ending Malaria deaths by 2015 by ensuring universal access to malaria control interventions by the end of 2010.


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