“It is clear that dialogue with all the forces that are often referred to as negative if they do not take up arms, if they agree to talk (…), it is primarily a national priority, and then in the strategic interest of the Great Lakes region, “ said Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders said after his meeting with the Burundian second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri.
“If an armed group agrees to lay down the arms and renounce armed struggle, then the government should negotiate with that armed group. But laying down arms should not be a precondition to start negotiations, rather an outcome of the negotiations.”
The Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister was implicitly referring to the proposition by the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, reinforced by Southern African Development Community (SADC) recommendation to the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame, to open negotiations with his armed opposition in order to bring peace in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and the Great Region of Africa (US Government to Push For Direct Peace Talks Among African Governments and Their Moderate Armed Opposition? of june 18, 2013).
President Jakaya Kikwete made the proposition on May 26, 2013 during a meeting on the situation in the Great Lakes region held in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union (AU) (see our article I will Just Wait For You At the Right Place And I will Hit You, Rwandan General Paul Kagame Threatens Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete of July 3, 2013).
The Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister (See our article, New York: DRC Joseph Kabila Shines; Rwandan Paul Kagame’s Star Wanes of September 30, 2012) has been at logs with the Rwandan dictator for a while. In September 2012, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon organized a roundtable on the situation on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where Rwandan government supported M23 rebels have been playing havoc, raping women, mass murdering civilians, and looting (see our article here). During the meeting the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders started piling accusations on the Rwandan government and military. Seemingly not amused, General Paul Kagame stormed out of the meeting room during the speech to the dismay of the diplomatic and political community.
Consequently, it is expected by the latest statements by the Belgian Minister is another cat thrown among the pigeons. Already boiling with anger over the recommendations by the Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete, the increasingly irrational tyrant General Paul Kagame, his blaring Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, and his Hutu puppet Prime Minister Damien Habumuremyi may have found a new target of their diatribes.
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