CLIC ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE (Photo) Foreign Ministers from Rwanda, Burundi and DRC sharing a light moment on the sidelines of the meeting in Rubavu yesterday
By Robert Mugabe The Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), meeting in Rubavu, has called upon member countries to clear their outstanding contributions so as to reactivate the regional bloc’s activities.
CEPGL brings together Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. The two-day meeting that opened yesterday is also attended by officials from Belgium, the European Union, Germany and other partners.
“We are calling on member states to honour their contributions and pay arrears and salaries of employees of the secretariat,” Augustin Nsanze, Burundian Foreign Minister and the council’s chairman said.
Nsanze said that power projects of Rusizi and Kivu which are jointly shared should be maintained.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the bloc, including its reforms.
“We understand the need for members to honour their contributions and clear arrears for the grouping to keep it to its initial purpose,” Mushikiwabo said.
On his part, Congolese Foreign Minister, Tambwe Mwamba, also reiterated his country’s commitment to the bloc. “Citizens of the community have goals, their visions need to be realised. Every member state should do more to keep the bloc and its projects on track again,” Tambwe said.
According to Executive Secretary CEPGL, Gabriel Toyi, since the restoration of the regional bloc in 2007, DR Congo has never honoured their annual contributions, while Rwanda and Burundi both have outstanding debts.