U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
STATEMENT BY PATRICK VENTRELL, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
Signature of Framework Agreement for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region
The United States strongly supports the initiative of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and ten other African heads of state in signing the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, witnessed by three African regional bodies and the United Nations.
The continuing security and humanitarian crisis in eastern DRC highlights the urgent need for accelerated reforms within the DRC and increased cooperation among key countries in the Great Lakes region, particularly the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda. We commend all the signatories for acknowledging their essential responsibilities in promoting regional peace and security. We urge the DRC to seize the opportunity 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. We encourage all parties to live up to the spirit and letter of their joint framework agreement.
The framework needs to be a foundation, both within the DRC and in the region, for a sustained and serious dialogue to ensure that the signatories hold each other accountable for their commitments. The United States urges the signatories to quickly establish concrete follow-up mechanisms for implementing the framework at the national and regional level, and with the participation of key stakeholders, including the international community, local communities, and civil society. We are prepared to support this process. In this regard, we look forward to the appointment of a high-level UN envoy to lead international support for the framework's implementation. We also support a close and comprehensive review by the Security Council of the UN peacekeeping operation in the DRC, which will also have a critical role in supporting dialogue and security.
Both the region and the international community must support the Congolese people and the region in breaking the long cycle of conflict and violence. We urge all parties to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that the future of the DRC and the region is more peaceful and prosperous than the past.