The leaders of Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda will attend a regional summit in Uganda on Saturday after rebels seized the main eastern Congolese city of Goma, Ugandan officials said on Thursday.
African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will also attend the extraordinary summit of the 11-member regional bloc, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila and rival Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame – whom the United Nations accuses of backing the M23 rebels who seized the city of Goma on Tuesday, claims Kigali rejects – will be at the Kampala summit.
“They are attending,” said Asuman Kiyingi, Ugandan state minister for regional cooperation. “It would be meaningless without them.”
Dlamini-Zuma will attend as part of AU “efforts aimed at finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the North Kivu region of the DRC”, the pan-African bloc said in a statement.
Kabila and Kagame met on Tuesday and Wednesday, hours after the capture of Goma, issuing a joint statement with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling for the M23 to stop its offensive and pull out of Goma.
The ICGLR has held multiple summits in recent months on the conflict in eastern DR Congo. None of them resulted in any significant breakthrough.