President Sassou N’Gueso Of Congo Brazzaville To Mediate In DR Congo-Zambia Dispute

President Denis Sassou N’Guesso of Congo Brazzaville is to mediate in the border conflict between the Democratic Republic of Congo and its East African neighbour, Zambia.

The Congolese leader launched the initiative last week when he dispatched his Foreign Minister, Jean-Claude Gakosso, to meet with President Fexlix Tshisekedi of DR Congo in Kinshasa.

During the discussions with Gakosso, Tshisekedi said he appreciated the initiative of N’Gouesso who is the current President of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

N’Gouesso is expected to, within the coming days, organise a quadripartite meeting which would see the participation of Tshisekedi of DR Congo, President Edgar Lungo of Zambia and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe who will represent the Southern African Development Council.

Gakosso was last week Wednesday in Lusaka where he met Lungu who said he was in agreement with the initiative of N’Gouesso aimed at “bringing back peace and serenity between the two friendly countries”.

The foreign minister last Friday was also in Harare for a similar meeting with Zimbabwean Emerson Mnangagwa.

On March 13, 2020, Zambian forces occupied the villages of Kibanga, Libondwe and Kalibamba within the Moliro grouping of DR Congo situated about 300km to the east of Moba region within the Lake Tangayika neighbourhood.

Zambian authorities explained away their incursion to illegal fishing by Congolese fishermen in their part of Lake Tangayika.

DR Congo forces on their part dispatched forces to Moliro Centre with military base at Moba to oversee that southeastern territory of Moba.

Congolese national parliamentarian, Hon. Jean Manda, who toured the disputed area to personally confirm the presence of Zambian troops on Congolese territory, later declared that “Zambian forces are occupying certain Congolese villages in Moliro, including some villages which were hitherto not occupied by the Zambians such as Kapingu.

“Now the Zambians have returned in force. They have even positioned war machines there. Has the Congolese territory now being occupied by Zambia been ceded to Zambia and under what negotiations? Who are those who took part in these negotiations?”

As the Congo Brazzaville leader continues his peace initiative, tension continues to rise between DR Congo and Zambia and the hope within the region and the whole of Africa is that arms are not given the opportunity to talk between the two countries.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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