DR Congo

Regional leaders call for immediate ceasefire In Congo fighting

Heads of state of the Great Lakes region called for an immediate ceasefire and called upon all the armed men and militia in North Kivu to stop fighting.

In a joint statement released after a one day consultative joint meeting of the Great Lakes Regional Leaders, AU and UN, on the situation in North Kivu of DRC held in Nairobi on the 7th of November, the leaders also called for the Establishment of the humanitarian corridor throughout the area to ensure immediate address of the humanitarian crisis and tragedy.

The meeting was attended by H.E. President Mwai Kibaki, of Kenya and Chair of the Great Lakes Region,H.E. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chair of the African Union, H.E. President Pierre Nkurunziza, of Burundi, H.E. President Denis Sassou Nguesso, of the Republic of Congo, H.E. President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, UN Secretary General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, H.E. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU commission among other leaders.

In a move aimed at ensuring sustainable peace and durable political stability in the region, the leaders called for an immediate implementation of the Nairobi Communiqué, Goma agreement, and all other relevant agreements and protocols that had been agreed on earlier.

The meeting also called on the UN to strengthen the mandate of the peacekeeping forces in DRC and provide adequate resources for the forces to be able to address the volatile situation adequately.

Saying that The Great Lakes region would not stand by to witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups against innocent people of DRC, the regional leaders said that the Great Lakes Region will send peacemaking forces into the Kivu Province of the DRC if it is found necessary.

The leaders called on the UN and all humanitarian agencies who have shown great support for the victims of military violence to continue to sustain and increase their support.

The meeting established a mechanism and a process that will involve all the Leaders of the region with President Mwai Kibaki as the Chairman and a team of facilitators with former President General Olusegun Obasanjo, Special Envoy of the UNSG, and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, President Benjamin Mkapa. The team will locate their office in Nairobi, Kenya, from where they will report to the Great Lakes Region Chair, the African Union Chair and to the UN Secretary General.