Amani Programme officials today established the Provincial Committee for the Coordination of Disengagement Operations in South Kivu. Abbe Malu Malu, the Programme's National Coordinator, led the ceremony which was held in Bukavu, the provincial capital. South Kivu's governor, Louis-Léonce Cirimwami Mudherwa, the head of MONUC's Bukavu office, Aliou Sene, and a representative of the European Union were present.
Several South Kivu-based armed groups were represented at the event.
The Provincial Committee is made up of about 20 members representing political groups, the military and police, as well as the international facilitation team, MONUC and the armed groups. Its mission will be to plan and direct disengagement operations.
Abbe Malu Malu said the committee will help "provide the most appropriate framework for a successful disengagement process which requires the commitment of each one of those involved."
The inauguration of the South Kivu committee took place after a similar process began for North Kivu on 12 october last in Goma .
Spyros Demetriou, head of the Stabilisation Committee and a member of Operations Coordination Interprovincial Committee (CICO) secretariat said "the primary goal of these committees will be to establish a plan of operations and a roadmap showing the targeted geographic areas, the respective responsibilities of partners, the timetables and operational modalities for each of the areas concerned, taking into account the resources required and those available."
The MONUC head of office in South Kivu, Aliou Sene, welcomed the move and praised the Provincial Government's efforts in conducting an evaluation of the regroupment centres on the ground. He described the creation of the provincial committees as "a crucial step in the Disengagement, Regroupment, Demobilization or Reintegration of armed groups in the National Army".
The representative of the European Union recalled that on Sunday a sensitization mission had visited the Fizi camp which is used as a regroupment centre for Mai Mai combatants.