Great Lakes leaders recommit to ending conflicts

16 January 2014

The 5th Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) concluded in Luanda, Angola on Wednesday with leaders recommitting to bringing about peace and stability in the region.

South African President Jacob Zuma was among those in attendance at the summit, which focused in particular on conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

The leaders resolved review their implementation of the ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and the United Nations (UN) Framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region.

Zuma said South Africa had been invited to participate in the summit as South Africa was one of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries that had contributed to the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (Monusco).

“Matters discussed in the Great Lakes Region Summit have an impact on the DRC,” Zuma said. “It is for this reason that South Africa participated throughout the summit, and found the consultations useful and positive.”

DRC

Regarding the security situation in the DRC, the leaders welcomed the declarations signed by the DRC government and the defeated former M23 rebels in December.

The summit urged Monusco to urgently intensify its operations to eradicate all other negative forces operating in the eastern DRC, since their activities were also threatening the security of the Great Lakes Region.

According to Zuma, the government of the DRC was committed to dealing with this matter, and Monusco had been tasked to effectively eradicate these forces.

“This is a matter that Africa has taken up in a particular way to achieve sustainable peace and stability on the continent,” he added.

CAR, South Sudan

The summit expressed deep concern at the recent outbreak of violence and the worsening security and humanitarian situation in the CAR and South Sudan.

They urged the African Union (AU), which meets next week, and its partners to strengthen the International Mission for the Stabilisation of Central African Republic (Misca) by availing resources and logistical support to enable it to fulfil its mandate.

They also offered political and other forms of support for the ongoing mediation efforts in South Sudan, led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

South Africa, given its experience in conflict resolution and national reconciliation, was requested to assist by intervening in the process of finding an immediate solution to bring about peace in that country.

The 6th Summit of the ICGLR will take place in Kenya on 15 December 2015.

The ICGLR members are Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, the DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

Source: SAnews.gov.za