Africa’s Great Lakes leaders meet in Kampala to assess progress in their efforts to build peace and security in the region, as well as bring confidence among neighbouring countries
Kampala (Uganda), 8 October 2018 - The heads of State and Government of the signatory countries of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region held their 9th high-level meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism on 8 October 2018 in Kampala, Republic of Uganda. The meeting was convened by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, with the support of the United Nations, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), otherwise known as the four Guarantor institutions of the Framework agreement.
Participants reviewed the political and security developments in the region and the progress in the implementation of the peace agreement since their last meeting in Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo, a year ago. Among the participants were three heads of State, including President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, and President Edgar Lungu of Zambia. Others were senior government representatives at ministerial level.
The participants discussed the neutralization of negative forces and the repatriation of disarmed ex-combatants, namely the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the M23, as well as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). They also reviwed the political and dialogue processes in the region, especially in the DRC, Burundi and South Sudan. They looked at the issue of mistrust among countries of the Great Lakes and ways to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between neighboring states in the region. Finally, the participants addressed the need to promote the role of women in peace and political processes, and with that in mind, they encouraged the countries of the region to ensure a minimum of 30% representation of women in peace and political processes by 2023, and to achieve full gender parity in the long run.
Of note, the Regional Oversight Mechanism is the main oversight body under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework agreement for the DRC and the region. It meets once a year at head of State and Government level to review progress in the implementation of national and regional commitments under the Framework agreement signed by 13 countries and four Guarantor institutions (UN, AU, ICGLR and SADC) on 24 February 2013 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. The initial signatory countries were Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Kenya and Sudan later joined on 31 January 2014, thus becoming the 12th and 13th signatories of this peace agreement.vb