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Kagame in Addis for AU summit, mini-summit on DR Congo crisis

President Paul Kagame on Thursday, February 16, joined leaders from across Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 36th Ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

The bi-annual meeting is attended by African Heads of State and Government as well as heads and representatives of international organizations including the United Nations.

Held under the theme “The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,” this year’s Assembly will consider and make decisions on various political and socio-economic areas to promote and advance the welfare and quality of life for African citizens.

Prior to the summit, Kagame is expected to take part in discussions on the security situation in eastern DR Congo, including a mini-summit that will convene the parties to the EAC Nairobi process and Luanda roadmap.

On the eve of the summit, the African Union Commission Amb. Moussa Faki Mahamat told the executive council of the AU that Africa is banking on ongoing regional peace efforts – the EAC-led Nairobi peace process and the Luanda process – to resolve the security crisis in eastern DR Congo.

Mahamat’s plea follows several reports citing that Kinshasa’s refusal to adhere to the existing roadmaps, remains the biggest roadblock of achieving peace in the region.

Both processes demand that DR Congo disarm all armed groups and engage in dialogue toward a sustainable solution.

Instead, beyond Kinshasa aligning itself with FDLR – a Rwandan genocidal militia formed by remnants of the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – the Congolese government also continued to alienate the M23 rebels, thereby reducing the prospects for peace.

Meanwhile, Kagame will also attend a meeting hosted by the African Union Peace and Security council (PSC.)

During the Summit, the Head of State is expected to present reports on various topics including Institutional reforms of the African Union, AUDA-NEPAD and health financing, the Presidency said in a statement.

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