Security Council visits Great Lakes countries

Members of UN Security Council delegation are welcomed by MONUSCO officials as they arrive at Goma airstrip in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

As part of an official visit to countries in Africa’s Great Lakes region, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council have over the past few days met with various heads of State to discuss the implementation of the broad based peace accord agreed earlier this year.

Signed in February by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) along with 10 other countries and four regional and international institutions under UN auspices, the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region outlines a comprehensive approach to sustainable peace in the region.

Over the weekend, the Security Council delegation was in the DRC, where they met with President Joseph Kabila as well as other senior officials in Kinshasa, the capital.

On Sunday, they travelled to Goma, in the North Kivu province, where rebel groups have repeatedly clashed with DRC national forces over the past year, displacing more than 100,000 people.

While in Goma Security Council members met civil society representatives, with whom they discussed the topics of sexual violence in conflict and child protection. They also visited a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Speaking to the press in Goma, Australian Ambassador Gary Francis Quinlan, said that “the Security Council came to see the level of advancement of the framework agreement, signed by the heads of the sub regions in the context of peace and security.”

Earlier today, the delegation was in Rwanda, where they met President Paul Kagame in Kigali. While in the country, Council members also visited a demobilization centre for ex-combatants and the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site.

They then went on to Kampala in Uganda and were scheduled to meet President Yoweri Museveni. Later today they will arrive in Addis Ababa, where they will meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

The delegation is set to return to New York on Wednesday.

Source: UN News Centre