The New Times (Kigali)

12 July 2012

Rwanda: Respect ICGLR's Resolutions On the Congo Crisis

Foreign and Defence ministers from the 11 member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Wednesday met at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss the ongoing crisis in Eastern DRC.

The meeting came up with several resolutions to help pacify the Eastern DRC, including proposals for immediate action against militia groups that have used the country's east as a breeding ground and haven for unabated atrocities against ordinary Congolese.

Notably, ICGLR "condemned in the strongest terms the continued and unfettered activities of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) and called for the immediate military action to eradicate this threat".

FDLR terrorist group is no doubt at the core of DRC's security problems from the time its members created base into the country after taking part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi - 18 years ago. Therefore, eliminating the militia would be a great step towards pacifying DRC.

Equally important is the call for the M23 rebels and other groups operating in Eastern DRC to disarm, and for the establishment of a neautral international force to help secure the border zones.

Furthermore, worth mentioning is the decision to revive the African Team of Special envoys, including former Tanzanian and Nigerian Presidents, Benjamin Mkapa and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, respectively, to investigate the root causes of DRC troubles with view of devising a more sustainable solution to the years of aggression.

Most importantly, as was agreed in the meeting, Rwanda and DRC need to urgently follow up on their previous bilateral mechanisms aimed at addressing the crisis, particularly the Joint Verification Mechanism.

These ICGLR resolutions need to be respected by all the concerned parties.

It will take genuine commitment from all the actors for the desired change to come about.

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