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Saturday 24th November 2012 | 18:53
Foreign and Commonwealth Office press release
Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, yesterday returned from an urgent three day visit to Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. Violence has been escalating in Eastern DRC and the situation the ground there has continued to evolve. Following an emergency summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region in Uganda today, Minister Simmonds said:
“Today’s summit offered a major opportunity for the three Presidents, of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda together with their partners in the region, to once again demonstrate their determination to end this crisis, and to seek new ways to resolve the underlying causes of conflict.
“I am pleased that the summit resulted in a 10-point Communique, specifying long and short term actions to be taken by all parties, but crucially including a renewed call for the M23 to leave Goma without delay. Clearly, an important test will now be whether that happens or not.
“We will study the Communique and its implications carefully over the coming days, including what more we and the rest of the international community should do to support ongoing regional efforts to resolve the current crisis in a sustainable way.”
Mr Simmonds travelled to the three countries to ensure the UK was doing all it could to support the regional response to the crisis. During his visit he met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers in each country, and made clear to all the UK’s strong support for - and expectation of – the regional leaders’ efforts to swiftly resolve the crisis.