Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon today hailed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region as marking a new milestone for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.In his remarks in Addis Ababa, the Secretary-General said, “Together with leaders of the region, we have worked to find a way to break the pattern that has led to the recurring cycles of violence and collectively address the underlying causes of the conflict. ”
He highlighted that he has been deeply disturbed by the violence that erupted in April last year in eastern DRC, in the wake of the mutiny against the Congolese Army. The framework, he said, outlines a set of national and regional commitments which will contribute to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict in eastern DRC.
“We can only put an end to recurring cycles of violence through an innovative approach addressing the broader security situation with all relevant partners, said the Secretary-General,” he stressed.
“The civilian population in the affected areas endured terrible suffering as a result, the numbers of displaced persons grew by the hundreds of thousands, and innocent people were – and still are –subjected to horrendous acts of violence, including rapes and summary executions,” said the Secretary-General, stressing that perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice. The Framework includes two oversight mechanisms: one, at the national level, will be established by the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support, accompany, and oversee the implementation of the national reforms called for in the Framework. The other oversight mechanism, at the regional level, will involve all the signatories to the Framework, who will come together twice a year to assess its implementation. The Secretary-General underscored that he was signing the framework together with the Chairpersons of the African Union, the International
Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the Southern African Development Community, and he would “act as a guarantor of this long-term engagement.” He also added that he would shortly appoint a Special Envoy to support the implementation of the Framework and these oversight mechanisms. Mr. Ban underscored that national and regional stakeholders need the
engagement of the international community to support their efforts and he called for “the sustained political, technical and financial support of key partners to accompany the implementation of the commitments outlined in the Framework.”
Their active participation in the national and regional oversight mechanisms will also be essential for their success, he stressed. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been engulfed in conflict for nearly two decades, with consequences that have rolled across half a continent according to the Secretary-General. Millions have died from armed violence and its fallout, including starvation and deprivation.
According to Mr. Ban, for just as long, the United Nations has worked with Africans and the international community to address the immediate emergencies and the underlying causes, from poverty and misrule to the mismanagement of natural resources and longstanding societal and regional fissures. This signing ceremony is a significant event in itself. But it is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement, he said. “With the signing of this Framework, the leaders of the region commit to uphold and implement the principles of peaceful coexistence and freedom that contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security,” he said and added: “Let us not fail the populations who have placed their hopes in us.”
The following is a list of the signatories and witnesses to the signed the agreement:
H.E Mr. Joseph Kabila Kabange President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
H.E. Mr. Manuel Domingos Vicente Vice President of the Republic of Angola for H.E. Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos President of the Republic of Angola
H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou N’guesso President of the Republic of the Congo
H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa
H.E. Mr. Parfait Anicet Mbay Second Deputy Prime Minister of the Central African Republic and Minister of Foreign Affairs, for African Integration, Francophonie, and Central Africans abroad for H.E. Mr. François Bozizé President of the Central African Republic
H.E. Mr. Laurent Kavakure Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi for H.E. Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza President of the Republic of Burundi
H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame President of the Republic of Rwanda
H.E. Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit President of the Republic of South Sudan
H.E. Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete President of the United Republic of Tanzania
H.E. Mr. BAN Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations, Witness
H.E. Mr. Armando Emílio Guebuza Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community, Witness
H.E. Mr. Whyinter Kabimba Minister of Justice of the Republic of Zambia for H.E. Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata President of the Republic of Zambia
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Witness
H.E Mr. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi Vice President of the Republic of Uganda for H.E. Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Chairperson of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Witness