The representatives of the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the region (PSC Framework) held a meeting in Addis, Ethiopia, on 27 January 2017, on the margins of the African Union (AU) Summit. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, Hon. Mr. Georges Chikoti, representing the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Chair of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM), H. E. President José Eduardo Dos Santos. It was attended by Mr. Saïd Djinnit, the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region; Amb. Zachary Muburi-Muita, ICGLR Executive Secretary; Dr. Stergomena Tax, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary; Mr. Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO); Amb. Abdou Abarry, Special Representative and Head of the AU Office in the DRC, representing AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smaïl Chergui. Other senior officials from the Guarantors’ institutions also attended the meeting.
Participants reviewed recent developments in the region and discussed efforts to address instability in eastern DRC, including support to the neutralization of armed groups. They also discussed dialogue processes in the DRC and Burundi.
The Guarantors expressed concern on the continuous activities by negative forces in eastern DRC, in particular, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDRL). They reiterated the commitments of their respective organizations to tackle the threat posed by these negative forces, in line with the decisions of the Sixth Ordinary Summit of the ICGLR and the Seventh High-Level Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework held in Luanda, Angola, on 14 June and 26 October respectively, as well as other relevant decisions of the ICGLR, SADC, AU and the UN. In particular, the meeting:
• Urged the Chiefs of Defense Staff/Forces of ICGLR and SADC countries to carry out a field mission to the affected areas in eastern DRC, including the camps hosting ex-combatants as recommended by the meeting of Ministers of Defense of ICGLR and SADC held in Nairobi on 20 July 2016 and to engage MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) and DRC officials in order to make appropriate recommendations to further strengthen operations to fully neutralize persisting negative forces.
• Encouraged the Office of the Special Envoy and the ICGLR Secretariat to pursue their ongoing efforts towards convening a dedicated meeting on the issue of natural resources aimed at undercutting the lifelines of negative forces.
• Welcomed ongoing efforts by the ICGLR to establish the Joint Follow-up Mechanism (JFM) comprising the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to address the growing menace posed by ADF including recruitment drive in the wider region, and noted the advanced plans towards the operationalization of this mechanism.
• Further welcomed ongoing efforts to accelerate the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement of disarmed combatants in Eastern DRC and the region.