DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda officials to meet in Bujumbura over cross- border trade

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By Robert Mugabe

Kigali-Rwanda– the conference about cross border trade will open on Wednesday 6th to 9th June 2012 bringing together Rwanda, Burundi and R Congo emigration officials, three province governors and other security experts, Great Lakes Voice has learnt.

As Opposition lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for what they describe as a secret deal with Rwanda to be debated in public. The three countries are meeting in Bujumbura under the umbrella of regional bloc CPGEL

Lawmakers from several parties walked out of parliament last week to protest a ruling that talks with Rwanda about cross-border relations could only be debated in a closed session.

Some Congolese politicians, Human rights watch and other media organs say that Rwanda is backing a rebel group, the M23, made up of mutineers from the Congolese army.

Since the mutiny in April, there have been intense negotiations between the DRC and Rwanda, including a meeting in early May between the Congolese and Rwandan defense ministers.  However, CEPGEL official say that CEPGEL is not bound to local politics adding the talks are at regional level.

CEPGEL, a regional bloc bringing together the tree countries is facing budget straggles as DR Congo is yet to honour their annual contributions.

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