Brazzaville – Leaders from the two Congos, Uganda and Togo discussed security in central Africa and recent coups in the west of the continent at a mini-summit Saturday, an official statement said.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi, Congo-Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni from the Great Lakes region, along with Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe from West Africa, gathered near Brazzaville.
The meeting comes after the Ugandan and Democratic Republic of Congo armies late last year banded together to fight rebels the Islamic State group describe as an affiliate in eastern DRC.
“They spoke at length of the joint operations of the Ugandan and Congolese armies… against the Allied Democratic Forces,” the statement said.
The ADF has been blamed for thousands of deaths in eastern DRC, as well as bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
A diplomatic source from Congo-Brazzaville told AFP: “We need to close ranks to block these vexing ADF fighters who have pledged allegiance to ISIS and seem determined to impose their law in countries of the Congo Basin.”
The four state leaders also stated their support to the Economic Community of West African States, of which Togo is a member, after a spate of coups in the region.
Burkina Faso last month became its third member to be overrun by a military junta, after Mali, where a coup in September 2020 was followed by a second in May 2021, and Guinea, where an elected president was ousted in September last year.
“They want to better understand what is happening in West Africa and protect themselves from it,” the diplomatic source said of the Great Lakes nations.
The presidents of Angola, Burundi and Rwanda were invited, but could not make it.
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