The New Times (Kigali)

28 January 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Security Plan to Be Signed Today

Talks to resolve the crisis in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo have collapsed. An agreement was expected to be signed at an African Union ... ( Resource: Congo Peace Talks Collapse at AU Summit

President Paul Kagame is among the eight African Presidents that are expected to sign a DR Congo 'Security Plan' in Addis Ababa today.

Officials in Addis have said that the Presidents of DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Angola, Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania will sign a commitment to end the conflict on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

Alongside the diplomacy, the United Nations wants to strengthen its mission in DR Congo with a 2,500-strong "intervention brigade" to tackle M23 and other armed groups.

Tanzania and South Africa are leading contenders to provide the first special force.

"Alongside this rapid reaction force, said a UN official, a broad political plan to bring stability to the region is set to be signed on the side-lines of the AU summit in Addis Ababa by regional leaders," a UN official told the media in Ethiopia.

All of these measures were triggered late last year when M23 rebels seized the eastern city of Goma before they withdrew.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of the 20th African Union Summit yesterday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn took over the rotational chair of the African Union replacing Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi.

"It is with a great sense of honour and humility that I accept the chairperson of our Union. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to serve this half-a-century-old organisation for the next one year," Hailemariam told leaders at the AU summit meeting.

Yayi, the outgoing AU chair, hugged Hailemariam and said he will "succeed brilliantly in his mission in pushing us forward in our agenda for unity, peace, stability and development of our continent."

Hailemariam takes over at the AU just five months after emerging from being a relatively little known politician to run his nation after the death of Meles Zenawi.

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