Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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In a significant development for peace and security in the Great Lakes Region, Uganda has been selected as the host country for the 12th high-level oversight meeting on the peace, security, and cooperation framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the surrounding region. The decision was made during the 11th high-level meeting held in Bujumbura, Burundi, where heads of state and government from the signatory countries gathered. The purpose of the meeting was to assess recent developments and review the progress and challenges in implementing the framework, ten years after its initial signing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As part of the decision reached, leaders agreed to reconvene in Kampala, Uganda, in 2024 to conduct a comprehensive review of the framework’s implementation. During the summit in Bujumbura, the outgoing chairperson, Felix Antoine Tshishekedi, President of the DRC, handed over leadership to the President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, emphasized the wealth of natural resources in the DRC but highlighted that the country’s citizens have not benefitted from them due to instability. Guterres called on countries in the region to pool resources and help their neighbor achieve stability for social and economic development.

Audrine Faith Otieno, chairperson of peace and security for the regional youth forum of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), attributed high levels of unemployment and poverty in the region to instability. Otieno urged regional leaders to diligently fulfill the resolutions made during high-level summits to ensure the effectiveness of interventions.

Felix Tshishekedi, the outgoing chair of the framework, expressed gratitude to participating countries for their tireless efforts in restoring stability to the DRC. President Ndayishimiye of Burundi, the incoming chairperson, thanked President Museveni of Uganda for his instrumental role in promoting peace and security in the region. He also commended former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the peace process facilitator, for his successful endeavors in bringing stability to the DRC.

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