Preventive Diplomacy in the DRC
In response to growing tension in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in fall 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deployed a Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. Special Envoy Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President, engaged in intense shuttle diplomacy in search of a negotiated peace in the eastern DRC. Collaborating with the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region, these efforts resulted, within just a few weeks, in complex peace talks under UN auspices.
The talks led to a set of agreements by March 2009, foreseeing the demobilization and disarmament of rebel groups and measures to address their underlying grievances. With ongoing engagement by the Special Envoy to monitor progress, the bulk of the commitments were implemented within less than a year. In late 2009, President Kagame of Rwanda and President Kabila of the DRC met for the first time in many years, and shortly thereafter the two countries resumed formal diplomatic relations. While the situation in the eastern DRC remains serious in terms of generalized insecurity and humanitarian suffering, renewed regional war was averted.
- Learn more about the UN's work in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region
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