Opening Remarks by Rwanda’s Minister of Defence, Gen Marcel Gatsinzi at the 6th Tripartite Plus Meeting of Chiefs of General Staff, Kigali, 20 June 2008
- The Chiefs of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tripartite Plus Member States,
- MONUC Force Commander,
- The Presidential Special Envoy in Charge of the Great Lakes Region,
- The United States Facilitator,
- Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
- General and Senior Officers here present,
- Distinguished delegates,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
- All protocols duly observed.
On behalf of the Republic of Rwanda, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Rwanda, and on my own behalf, I wish first and foremost to welcome you to Rwanda. I wish also to thank you for sparing time to attend this important meeting in spite of other schedules and commitments.
Your presence here is a testimony of your commitment and the commitment of your respective Governments in finding a lasting solution to the security threat posed by the Negative Forces in our region.
The Government of Rwanda is particularly concerned with the threat posed by ex–FAR/ Interahamwe and their genocide ideology. The destruction and neutralization of these and other negative forces in the region requires good intelligence, effective joint operational plans as well as political will and determination from the Governments of Tripartite Plus Member States.
Distinguished delegates, we have an operational plan to be reviewed and updated. It is also my hope that all the Governments of Tripartite Plus Member States have the political will as exemplified by the various Tripartite Plus initiatives. Similarly, the signing of the Nairobi Communiqué of November 2007 between the Governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo was not done out of coercion.
In addition, there is some support from the international community. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1804 of 13 March 2008 urging FDLR and other Rwandese Armed Groups to disarm is a case in point.
Having said that, I wish to commend the progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the Government of Burundi and FNL–PALIPEHUTU. The cessation of hostilities in Burundi and the ongoing disarmament and reintegration exercise is indeed a significant milestone. I wish also to commend the stand taken by the DRC Government to disarm the Rwandese genocidal forces on the Congolese territory. In addition, I would like to commend the efforts by the Government of Uganda in its endeavor to end the killings and suffering of the people of Uganda under the hands of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA).
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, today’s meeting offers an opportunity to update and validate the operational plan. This meeting also offers an opportunity to assess the progress made so far in the implementation of the operational plan and to lay future strategies.
It is my hope that this meeting will come up with a concrete and effective plan to neutralize the Negative Forces. Let me on this note remind you that a plan that is not implemented is as good as no plan.
I would like to end my remarks by thanking you once again for attending this meeting. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the United States Government for their continued facilitation of Tripartite Plus meetings.
I wish you fruitful deliberations and pleasant stay in Rwanda. It is now my humble pleasure to declare this 6th Tripartite Plus Meeting of Chiefs of General Staff officially open. Thank you very much and God bless you.