12 September 2013

Central Africa: Security Council Calls On Parties in Africa's Great Lakes Region to Fulfil Commitments for Peace

The Security Council today voiced concern over the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and called on all parties in the Great Lakes region to fulfil their commitment to achieve lasting peace.

In a statement, members of the Council reiterated their support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region, and called upon all signatories "to fulfil their commitments in good faith, which is essential to achieving lasting peace and security in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region."

The framework was signed earlier this year under UN auspices as a comprehensive approach to sustainable peace in the region. The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the region, Mary Robinson, has dubbed the accord a "framework of hope," and has stressed it represents a renewed opportunity to address the underlying causes of the conflict and stop the violence for good.

The 15-member body also commended the recent joint visit of Ms. Robinson and the Secretary-General's Special Representative of on the situation in eastern DRC, Martin Kobler, to the city of Goma, as well as Rwanda and Uganda, to bolster peace in the region. Also on that trip were Special Representatives of the UN, African Union, European Union, and United States.

"In this regard, the members of the Council looked forward to the upcoming meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism scheduled to take place on 23 September in New York," the statement said.

The M23 - composed of soldiers who mutinied from the DRC national army in April - along with other armed groups, has clashed repeatedly with the DRC national forces (FARDC).

In the past year, the fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.

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