Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Restoration of DRC-Uganda Ties Shows New Regional Cooperation

VOA News | Published on August 31, 2009
Joseph Kabila and Yoweri Museveni

The reinstatement of full diplomatic ties last week between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the latest development signaling a new era in the region's politics, following the DRC's recent willingness to cooperate militarily with its easterly neighbors.  Rwanda and the DRC similarly restored full relations in July.  

In December last year the DRC permitted Ugandan forces to enter its northeastern territory to try to root out the rebel Lord's Resistance Army.

The exchange of ambassadors between the two countries is the first in nearly 12 years.  During this time the two countries maintained their embassies, but had rejected full relations.

Ties between the two countries were seriously strained by the excursion of Ugandan forces into the largely lawless eastern Congo territory to fight rebel groups that were using the area as a safe haven.
Ugandan Minister for International Affairs Okello Oryem told VOA the military cooperation late last year against the LRA was the turning point in two country's volatile relationship.

"These are significant developments by any standard in the relationship we are having with the DRC, which had degenerated to a very low level," said Oryem.

The recent course of events bringing fresh links between the two countries closely mirrors the renewal of relations between the DRC and Rwanda.

Soon after the Congolese military cooperated with Ugandan forces against the LRA, the DRC and Rwanda engaged in joint military operations against the Hutu rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

In July Rwanda and DRC formally appointed ambassadors for the first time in more than a decade.

Oryem said that the improvement in bilateral ties with the DRC took much longer than should have been the case, but said that a variety of factors finally led to the new mindset among the region's players.

"I think that the change in attitude in the leadership, the change in the environment around them, the change in the international diplomacy, all contributed to the timing now for finally around last year for things to start to take a new course and new developments," he added.

The improved ties between the countries are good news for the region's inhabitants, where sour relations between the DRC and its eastern neighbors had driven instability in the mineral-rich region for more than a decade.

Foreign armed rebel groups have used unstable eastern Congo as their bases of operations, and both Rwanda and Uganda have supported rebel movements to topple the DRC's government.

In July 2002 Rwanda and the DRC signed a peace agreement that called for the withdrawal of 20,000 Rwandan troops from Congolese territory.  A couple of months later, the DRC completed negotiations with Uganda to end their respective hostilities.

According to Oryem, the renewed relations with the DRC has eased cross-border movement by the region's locals.  He says business and trade between the two neighbors has been steadily rising the past few months. 

Earlier this year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met Congolese President Joseph Kabila on the border to signal a new page in DRC-Uganda relations.

Related articles

  1. 'Deadly environment' plus 'political and social' obstacles hinder Ebola fight, Security Council hears (July 24, 2019)
  2. Ebola outbreak declared an international Public Health Emergency (July 17, 2019)
  3. Felix Tshisekedi Sworn In as DR Congo President (January 24, 2019)
  4. Constitutional Court Declares Tshisekedi Winner of Presidential Election (January 19, 2019)
  5. Felix Tshisekedi Vows to Be the President of All Congolese (January 10, 2019)
  6. Felix Tshisekedi Elected DR Congo President (January 10, 2019)
  7. DR Congo Delays Results of December Election (January 06, 2019)
  8. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  9. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  10. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  11. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  12. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  13. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 04, 2016)
  14. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 02, 2016)
  15. Peacekeepers, Congo Army to Resume Joint Fight Against Rwandan Rebels (January 28, 2016)
  16. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 07, 2015)
  17. UN Report Blames Ugandan Islamists for 237 Killings in DR Congo (May 14, 2015)
  18. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  19. DRC Army Putting Pressure on FDLR (April 01, 2015)
  20. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)
  21. Violence in North Kivu Kills 21, Mostly Women, Children (October 18, 2014)
  22. Etienne Tshisekedi Evacuated to Belgium for Medical Treatment (August 16, 2014)
  23. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 04, 2014)
  24. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 03, 2014)
  25. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  26. Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 251 (March 27, 2014)
  27. U.S. sending more personnel to Uganda to hunt LRA leader Joseph Kony (March 24, 2014)
  28. Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 108 people (March 24, 2014)
  29. DR Congo Takes Chairmanship of COMESA at Summit in Kinshasa (February 26, 2014)
  30. Bosco Ntaganda Attacked Civilians on Ethnic Grounds, ICC Prosecutor Says (February 10, 2014)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2023 All rights reserved.