Leaders attending the 5th Ordinary Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region ( I CGLR) recommitted themselves to achieving peace and stability in the region, especially in conflict countries.
President Jacob Zuma recently attended the summit in Luanda, Angola, which discussed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
The leaders resolved to review their implementation of the ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and the United Nations (UN) Framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
President Zuma said South Africa was invited to observe and participate in the summit because South Africa was one of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries that contributed to the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).
“Matters discussed in the Great Lakes Region Summit have an impact on the DRC. It is for this reason that South Africa participated throughout the summit and found the consultations useful and positive,” the President said.
With regards to the security situation in the DRC, the leaders welcomed the summit’s previous declarations, as well as the declarations signed by the DRC government and the defeated former M23 rebels in December.
The summit urged MONUSCO to urgently intensify its operations to remove all other negative forces operating in the eastern DRC, since their activities were also threatening the security of the Great Lakes Region.
According to President Zuma, the DRC government is committed to dealing with this matter and MONUSCO has been tasked to effectively eradicate these forces.
“This is a matter that Africa has taken up in a particular way to achieve sustainable peace and stability on the continent,” he added.
CAR, South Sudan
The summit expressed deep concern at the recent outbreak of violence and worsening security and humanitarian situation in the CAR and South Sudan.
It urged the African Union and its partners to strengthen the International Mission for the Stabilisation of Central African Republic (MISCA) by making available resources and logistical support to help it fulfil its mandate. Leaders also offered political and other forms of support for the on-going mediation efforts in South Sudan, led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
South Africa was asked to help by intervening in the process of finding an immediate solution and bringing about peace in that country, due to its experience in conflict resolution and national reconciliation.
The 6th Ordinary Summit of the ICGLR will take place in the Republic of Kenya on 15 December 2015.