24 February 2013

Central Africa: U.S. Ambassador Rice On Signing of Peace Agreement for DRC

African heads of state are in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to sign a framework agreement on the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United ... ( Resource: DR Congo Peace Deal to be Signed )



Statement from Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Signing of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, February 24, 2013

The United States welcomes today's signing of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Region, a significant step toward promoting long-term peace in the Great Lakes.

We applaud the leadership of Presidents Kabila, Kagame, and Museveni in advancing the peace process; the personal engagement of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his chef de cabinet, Susana Malcorra; and the constructive role played by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

This agreement is only a beginning. States in the region must now work to elaborate detailed agreements that address the root causes of the cycle of violence. For decades, civilians in the Great Lakes region, particularly in eastern DRC, have been killed, raped, abused, displaced, and otherwise victimized on a horrific scale. They deserve the full commitment of regional governments and the international community to ending the violence once and for all.

The United States urges the DRC to seize the opportunity of renewed international engagement to uphold its commitments to an extension of state authority in the east, to security sector reform, and to improved governance.

It is equally imperative that the DRC's neighbors respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity by preventing external support to armed groups, which is a violation of international obligations. We also urge the parties to address collectively the egregious use of sexual violence as a tactic of war, impunity for human rights abusers, the illegal exploitation of minerals, the prevention of further population displacements, and land issues.

We further believe the crisis in eastern DRC is an opportunity for the UN Security Council to completely reassess MONUSCO's mandate to enhance the Mission's effectiveness.

Copyright © 2013 United States Department of State. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.