22 February 2013

Central Africa: Angola Might Sign Cooperation Deal for Peace in Great Lakes

Addis Ababa — Angola might sign Sunday in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) the cooperation accord for peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Great Lakes region.

This was announced Friday in Addis Ababa by the Angolan representative of the African Union, ambassador Arcanjo do Nascimento.

According to the diplomat, the Angolan vice president, Manuel Domingos Vicente, will be representing the head of State at the summit that will be attended by another 10 African heads of State and Government.

The deal will also be signed by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in his capacity as mentor of the proposal and the presidents of the African Union Commission, Nkosozana Zuma, and of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Armando Emílio Guebuza, of Mozambique.

The diplomat who said that the accord was initially set for January this year, on the fringes of the 20th African Union Summit, has received a consensus, as a result of the consultations undertaken until February 15, aimed at eradicating the deep causes of the cycle of conflicts in the DRC and Great Lakes Region.

Arcanjo do Nascimento explained that the accord is intended to mobilise the international community to help the DRC and the Great Lakes region to bring the cycle of violence to an end.

According to him, in terms of the pact, the DRC is obliged to normalise the functioning of its administrative institutions all over the country, deepen the national reconciliation process, tolerance and democratisation, by reducing the focus of tension in the country.

It is also tasked with continuing with the reforms in its public sectors, like in the organs of defence and security and promoting the country's socio-economic development.

There is also a call for a combination of effort to prevent the armed groups from continuing to have a space to carry out instability actions, by cutting their support from neighbouring countries.

On the other hand, the document urges the deal signing countries to deny shelter to people wanted in the world for crimes and contribute to the economic recovery of the DRC.

To ambassador Arcanjo do Nascimento, "there are deep matters of social, political, economic and border nature, so the platform aims at handling all components of the conflict in the DRC and in the Great Lakes region, including Uganda, Rwanda and the Central Africa

Republic, that have been destabilised by groups like the M23 that proliferate in the region."

The diplomat also mentioned the combat against illegal exploitation of natural resources as a source of funding for armed groups.

According to the ambassador, the platform is so far-reaching and it is expected that its implementation becomes possible as there is full engagement of the whole international community, through the UN and its main organs, like the Security Council, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and SADC.

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