Special Envoy Said Djinnit seeking to build strong partnerships with the leaders of the Great Lakes

2 Apr 2015

Special Envoy Said Djinnit seeking to build strong partnerships with the leaders of the Great Lakes

Nairobi, 2 April 2015 – The United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, met on 2 April 2015 with the Kenyan Foreign Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, in a bid to revitalize regional dialogue and cooperation as envisioned by the Addis Ababa peace agreement for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region known as the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) agreement.

The agreement, also known as the “Framework of Hope”, has just entered its third year since its signing in February 2013. The PSCF agreement seeks to reinforce peace and stability in a region, particularly the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that has long been plagued by numerous illegal armed groups, chief among them the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

In his meeting with the Kenyan Minister, the Special Envoy underscored the pivotal role played by Kenya in the region both at the economic and political level. "Given Kenya’s remarkable contributions to regional peace and economic development, I would like to work with the authorities of this country to bring the region closer together, to build confidence among its leaders, and to promote cooperation,” the Special Envoy said. “Together, we can reactivate and re-energize the region for an effective implementation of the Nairobi Declarations and the PSCF agreement,” Mr. Djinnit added. The Nairobi Declarations, which require a complete disarmament and demobilization program for the former M23 combatants have not yet been fully implemented since the signing in December 2013.

In order to effectively tackle the root causes of the long lasting crisis in eastern DR Congo and its consequences on the region, the Special Envoy has been working closely with signatories countries as well as regional organizations such as the African Union (AU), the International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to ensure that the commitments of the Addis Ababa agreement are effectively implemented. The AU, ICGLR and SADC along with the United Nations are considered the ‘Guarantors’ of the PSCF.

Given its historical role in spearheading many regional initiatives, Kenya can be instrumental in furthering these efforts. In addition to being a member of several regional economic organizations, Kenya is set to assume the chairmanship of the ICGLR next year after Angola’s term expires.