Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, tonight completed an urgent three day visit to Uganda, Rwanda and DRC following the escalation of fighting in Eastern DRC. After his meeting with His Excellency President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa today, Mr Simmonds said:
“I had a constructive discussion with President Kabila on the situation in the east of DRC today. I welcomed his efforts to try and find a sustainable solution, and said that it was crucial that, working with Presidents Kagame and Museveni, he should now implement their joint communique.
“During my visit, I have met the three leaders in the region, to underline the importance of joint efforts to build a sustainable peace in the east of DRC, and to reiterate the UK’s commitment to providing support for these efforts.
“Tomorrow’s summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region offers an major opportunity for the three Presidents, and their partners in the region, to once again demonstrate their determination to end this crisis, and to seek new ways to resolve the underlying causes of conflict.”
Mr Simmonds travelled to the three countries to ensure the UK was doing all it could to support the regional response to the crisis. During his visit he met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers in each country, and made clear to all the UK’s strong support for - and expectation of - the regional leaders’ efforts to swiftly resolve the crisis.
On Saturday 24 November, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region will hold an emergency summit to discuss the situation. The UK will be present represented by the Foreign Office Director for Africa Nick Kay.