DRC neighbours agree to peace plan

2013-02-24 22:03
President Jacob Zuma signs a peace agreement during a summit in Addis Ababa.  (Jenny  Vaughan, AFP)

President Jacob Zuma signs a peace agreement during a summit in Addis Ababa. (Jenny Vaughan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - Eleven African countries signed a United Nations-drafted peace deal on Sunday to stabilise the troubled Central African country of DRC, where rebels allegedly backed by neighbouring countries last year threatened to oust the government.

Opening the agreement-signing meeting at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said peace, security and cooperation framework for Congo would bring stability to the region.

"The signing ceremony is a significant even in itself. But it is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement. The framework before you outlines commitments and oversight mechanisms which aim at addressing key national and regional issues," Ban said in his speech.

Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, Angola, Uganda, South Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, and the Republic of Congo signed the accord.

Congo's neighbours collectively promised to not interfere in the internal affairs of the Congo. They also agreed to not tolerate or support armed groups. A UN report last year said that Rwanda and Uganda helped aid M23 rebels inside Congo. The two countries denied the allegations.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame was present at the signing and said the agreement is a new opportunity for Congo.

"The framework recognizes that a holistic approach that addresses the multifaceted root causes is the only way to end instability. Any meaningful contribution toward lasting peace in the DRC and the Great Lake's region has to abandon the self-defeating practice of selectivity in both memory and responsibility regarding the known, long standing causes of recurring conflict," said Kagame.

The UN says DRC suffers from persistent violence by both local and foreign armed groups that use rape as a weapon. The conflict has displaced nearly 2 million people. The UN said it will undertake a review of the its peacekeeping force in Congo, known as Monusco, to better help the country's government address security challenges. Ban said he would issue a special report on Congo and the Great Lakes region in coming days.

"It will outline my proposal for a new comprehensive approach to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict in the DRC and the region, which encompasses the various components of the framework but also a strengthened political and security role for Monusco, including the deployment of an intervention brigade with a peace enforcement mandate. Countries of the region have committed to putting in motion to this brigade," Ban said.

More troops

President Jacob Zuma welcomed the proposal to send more troops to DRC. But he said Congo's government needs to undertake "far-reaching reforms" for a lasting solution.

"A heavy burden of responsibility falls on the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors. Theirs is the historic task of freeing the people of the DRC and the region from tortuous history of conflict and instability, and to introduce a new future offering democracy, peace, stability progress and prosperity," said Zuma.

Under the new agreement the Congolese government agreed to fast-track security sector reform, particularly within its army and police, and to consolidate state authority in eastern parts of the country. It pledged to prevent armed groups from destabilising neighbouring countries.

DRC President Joseph Kabila also vowed to advance decentralisation and expand social services across the nation. The deal calls for Kabila to soon put in place a national oversight mechanism in order to oversee the implementations of the commitments. The UN, AU, African Development Bank and other international groups have agreed to support the effort.

An agreement signing was cancelled last month at the margins of the African Union summit at the last minute, and Ban at the time blamed "procedural issues" for the delay.

Ban on Sunday proposed that the leaders should meet twice a year, at the margins of the AU and UN summits, to review the deal's progress.

Read more on:    un  |  au  |  m23  |  ban ki-moon  |  jacob zuma  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



9 richest pets
The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.