KIGALI, Rwanda, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, concluded on Wednesday a visit to Kigali with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo; Minister of Defense, James Kabarebe; and other senior defense and security officials, to discuss ongoing peace and security developments in the region. He also met with the Chairman of the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).
“Countries in the region should remain united in efforts to neutralise all negative forces in eastern DRC and support military action against the FDLR”, stressed UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit. In this regard, he stated his commitment to continue to encourage the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported by MONUSCO, to ensure tangible progress on military action against this group, which has caused untold suffering to innocent people. Special Envoy Djinnit also encouraged the Government of Rwanda to remain engaged on the Peace, Security, and Cooperation (PSC) Framework process for the DRC and the region, signed in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013.
The UN Envoy further expressed his appreciation for the cooperation between the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda on the repatriation of the ex-M23 combatants, as per the Declarations signed in Nairobi on 12 December 2013. “I welcome the joint Communiqué signed on 3 February by representatives of the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda, in which they agreed on steps for the repatriation of the ex-M23 combatants and the handing-over of military equipment to the DRC as soon as possible. The UN fully supports the repatriation process of the ex-M23 combatants involving DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, and I stand ready to offer any assistance required, in line with the Nairobi Declarations,” noted Special Envoy Djinnit.
In his meeting with the Chairman of the RDRC, he was briefed on the arrangements that have been in place for the demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants. The Chairman reaffirmed the RDRC’s continued readiness to receive former combatants for their demobilsation and reintegration, including FDLR elements.
During the various meetings, Mr. Djinnit stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict and instability in the region including socio-economic and governance challenges.
Special Envoy Djinnit further highlighted the importance to promote confidence-building and economic cooperation between the countries in the region, two critical objectives of the PSC Framework. In this regard, he encouraged ongoing efforts towards convening the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) Summit that is expected to bring together the Heads of State of Burundi, DRC and Rwanda. He also encouraged Rwanda to continue to play its role, together with other countries in the region, in the preparation of the Great Lakes Private Investment Conference which is planned for 2015.