Luanda summit demands immediate ceasefire in DRC and Sudan

The extraordinary summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) held this Saturday, in Luanda, demanded the immediate cessation of hostilities in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Sudan.

In the final communiqué of the XI Extraordinary Summit of the CIRGL, the Statesmen or their representatives consider it urgent to improve the coordination and operationalization of the mechanism to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of the M23 from the occupied territories.

In the document read by the Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Téte António, the participants expressed solidarity with the victims of the conflicts in both countries and reaffirmed their support for the revitalization of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Great Lakes Region.

Regarding the DRC, the parties were encouraged to commit themselves to the implementation of the Luanda and Nairobi understandings and demanded the M23 to prioritize the process of cantonment.

The meeting recognizes the reduction of armed violence against the population of the East of the DRC, particularly in North Kivu, after the deployment of the regional force in East Africa, but considers that “more needs to be done” for a lasting peace in the region.

In the communiqué, the participants condemned any attempt by the M 23 and other armed groups to reinforce themselves to relaunch hostilities in the occupied zones, calling for the urgent abandonment of weapons, as well as the unconditional repatriation of the “foreign gangs”.

Delegations welcomed Angola’s initiative to deploy a military contingent with the aim of ensuring security in the M23 cantonment areas and supporting the activities of the ad hoc verification mechanism.

The meeting encouraged the Government of the DRC to accelerate the implementation of the process of disarmament, demobilization, community reintegration and stabilization, an essential condition for the resolution of the conflict in the East of the DRC.

The Summit underlined the need to reactivate the humanitarian program aimed at the displaced populations, to the areas of origin and allow the registration of the voting population in the territories previously occupied by the M23.

He called for the reopening of access routes to facilitate humanitarian assistance to internally displaced populations.

Ministers responsible for diplomacy in Angola, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi, supported by the ad-hoc verification mechanism, were instructed to meet periodically to jointly assess the process and progress in implementing the commitments of the Luanda Roadmap and the Plan of joint action for the pacification of eastern DRC and the normalization of political-diplomatic relations with Rwanda.

The communiqué notes that the summit welcomed SADC’s decision to deploy a task force as a regional response to support efforts for peace and security in eastern DRC.

As for Sudan, the meeting called for the reactivation of the peace process with a view to seeking a lasting solution to the conflict and supporting the democratic and inclusive transition, recognizing that there is no military solution to the crisis.

The summit appealed to the international community to provide the necessary assistance to the populations of the East of the DRC and in Sudan, as well as proposed to continue to monitor the situation in the two countries.

The participants congratulated the Angolan statesman for his efforts in the search for peace and stability for the continent.

The statement read by minister Téte António indicates that Angola should host, on a date yet to be specified, a summit between IRGL, SADC, ECCAS and the East African Community of States, with the participation of the UN.

This meeting should be coordinated by the African Union (AU). At the heart of the initiative is improving the coordination of peacekeeping efforts on the continent.

The summit, which was attended by Heads of State or their representatives from the CIRGL, took place under the motto “For a stable Great Lakes region, towards sustainable development”.

Created in 1994, after the political and military conflicts that marked the Great Lakes Region in the early 1990s, the CIRGL brings together Angola, Burundi, the Central African and Democratic Republics of Congo, as well as Congo, Kenya, Uganda , Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. JFS/AFL/AL/ADR

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2023-06-03 18:57:31