Great Lakes region

Field visit in eastern DRC. Photo: MONUSCO/Tresor Pendeki

The United Nations has long been engaged in efforts to bring peace and stability to Africa’s Great Lakes region, which has been plagued by decades of political instability and armed conflicts, porous borders and humanitarian crises, as well as tensions over natural resources and other potentially destabilizing factors.

A key step in UN efforts has been the adoption, in February 2013, of a UN-brokered accord aimed at stabilizing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region. The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC Framework) was signed by 11 countries, namely Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, with the UN, the African Union (AU), the International  Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) acting as Guarantors. In early 2014, Kenya and Sudan became the 12th and 13th signatories of the Framework Agreement respectively. 

The Framework Agreement encompasses commitments at the national, regional and international level geared towards addressing the root causes of conflict and putting an end to the recurring cycles of violence in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region. Its implementation is supported by the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, who was appointed in July 2014.

The Envoy’s key tasks, as reflected in his road map, consist of supporting efforts to neutralize negative forces in the region and undertaking good offices to strengthen the relations between the signatories of the framework, revitalizing existing accords and coordinating international engagement on the region, including through the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework. In so doing, Mr. Djinnit coordinates closely with UN entities, including the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), the AU, ICGLR, and SADC, which, together with the UN, constitute the guarantor institutions of the PSC Framework. 

The Special Envoy is supported by a small Office based in Nairobi, Kenya, and by the Department of Political Affairs at UN Headquarters in New York.

Click here to read Mr. Djinnit's interview with DPA's Politically Speaking in 2016 about the Framework of Hope, mediation, and the role of regional actors in working towards sustainable peace.