(L-R) Democratic Republic of Congos President Joseph Kabila,President Yoweri Museveni, and Tanzanias President Jakaya Kikwete talk during the Great Lakes Summit
That meant that the central question of a neutral regional force to try to restore peace in eastern DR Congo remained unresolved.
The idea has been floated by leaders of the 11-member International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) but it has made little headway.
In a statement following Saturday’s meeting, the ICGLR said only the force would be “deployed under the mandate of the African Union and the United Nations.”
The ICGLR also called on regional defence ministers to reconvene quickly to work toward the “operationalization of the Neutral International Force within three months.”
Attending the meeting, the third in two months, were DR Congo President Joseph Kabila, and his counterparts from Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, and South Sudan, Salva Kiir. Several regional leaders also turned up to the meeting, which was hosted by President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala.
President Paul Kagame did not attend. Rwanda was represented by its defence and foreign ministers.
Eastern DR Congo has been hit hard by a new rebellion by army defectors who formed a group called the M23. Their members are former fighters in an ethnic Tutsi rebel movement that had been integrated into the military under a 2009 peace deal.
Fighting in the region has forced more than 220,000 people to flee their homes since April, and more than 57,000 others have fled to Rwanda and Uganda.
A new summit has been scheduled for next month.