Communiqué of the third high-level meeting of the regional oversight mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Addis Ababa, 31 January 2014
We, the signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, held the third meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) on 31 January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the 22nd Summit of the African Union. The meeting was convened jointly by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the United Nations Secretary–General, H.E. Mr. BAN Ki-moon, who was represented by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson.
The Heads of State and Government or the representatives of the following signatory countries participated in the meeting:
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Republic of Angola
The Republic of Burundi
The Republic of the Congo
The Republic of Kenya
The Republic of Rwanda
The Republic of South Africa
The Republic of the Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan
The United Republic of Tanzania
The Republic of Uganda and
The Republic of Zambia
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) also participated in the deliberations.
We reaffirmed that the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework remains a viable and effective mechanism to achieve durable peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, and renewed our commitment to its implementation.
We reaffirmed our respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the countries in the region.
We welcomed the participation of the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of the Sudan, as new Members of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework.
We endorsed the Plan of Action for the implementation of regional commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and commended the Technical Support Committee for developing this plan under the co-chairmanship of the African Union and the United Nations.
We called for the immediate implementation of the Plan of Action and requested the Technical Support Committee to submit, through the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mrs. Mary Robinson, and the Special Representative of the African Union for the Great Lakes Region, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, a progress report on its implementation at our next meeting.
We committed to support concerted efforts, through multi-track approaches, to implement the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework, including through a broad political dialogue on issues of mutual concern, and to focus on development initiatives, particularly for women and youth. In this regard, we endorsed the initiative of Special Envoy Robinson to organize a Private Sector Investment Forum in conjunction with the ICGLR. We also welcomed the launch by Special Envoy Robinson of the Women's Platform for the PSC Framework, to combat violence against women and promote women's livelihoods and development in the region.
We welcomed the recent developments in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and commended the joint efforts by the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). We commended H.E. Mr. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his Government for their efforts to reform the security sector and we encouraged them to further progress in the implementation of the national commitments under the PSC Framework, including the strengthening of the National Oversight Mechanism.
We noted that the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo remained fragile and urged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to swiftly extend state authority to all areas and to further strengthen security and judicial institutions.
We further encouraged countries in the region to cooperate and to take necessary measures to neutralize illegal armed groups, combat impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, conflict-related sexual violence and other gross violations of human rights, and take appropriate actions against persons falling under the UN sanctions regime.
Mindful that the current situation represents a significant opportunity for peace and stability, we called for concerted efforts to sustain the gains made and, in particular, to translate those gains into concrete peace dividends and better living conditions for the populations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
We demanded that all illegal armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region immediately cease their activities, lay down their weapons, and pursue their legitimate objectives through peaceful political means.
We commended the successful conclusion of the Kampala Dialogue and the useful roles of the ICGLR and the SADC. We acknowledged the roles of the mediator H.E. Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and the Facilitator, Dr. Crispus W. Kiyonga in concluding the Kampala Dialogue and commended them for their efforts.
We called on the United Nations, the African Union, the ICGLR, SADC and other international partners to support the efforts of the national mechanism provided for by the Nairobi declaration for the implementation of the outcomes of the Kampala Dialogue and to accelerate steps aimed at addressing the root causes of the conflict in the region.
We welcomed the joint ICGLR and SADC Summit held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 4 November 2013 and encouraged the two organizations to continue to align their efforts in support of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework.
We congratulated the incoming Chair of the ICGLR, H.E. Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, and encouraged him to continue the efforts of his predecessor, President Museveni to utilise the instruments of the ICGLR to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region.
We extended our appreciation to the Team of Envoys led by Special Envoy Robinson for their diplomatic engagements in the region. We requested Special Envoy Robinson to hold consultations as soon as possible with the signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework on modalities for further dialogue amongst the leaders of the region for the effective implementation of the Plan of Action, particularly on the priority activities, and to brief on progress in this regard at the next meeting of the ROM.
We called on the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries, with the support of regional and international partners, to continue working towards the voluntary and safe return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
Concerned by the unfortunate events that took place on 15 December 2013 in Juba, Republic of South Sudan, and the subsequent escalation of the conflict and deterioration of the humanitarian situation, we welcomed the signing of the Cessation of hostilities Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A in opposition) and the Status of Detainees, facilitated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on 23January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
We condemned all unconstitutional attempts to change the legitimately elected government by use of force or challenging the constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law in the Republic of South Sudan and called on the parties concerned to create suitable conditions for the pursuit of dialogue and durable peace.
We expressed deep concern about the prevailing situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), and called on the parties concerned to fully cooperate with the new Transitional Government. We welcomed the election of Madame Catherine Samba-Panza as new Head of State for the transition and called upon the parties to work in good faith to end the conflict and to promote national reconciliation. We welcomed the efforts of the African Union-led International Support Mission in the CAR, supported by the French Forces mandated under United Nations Security Council resolution 2127 (2013). We commended the support provided by the countries of the region, including through the Economic Community of Central African States.
We agreed to hold our next meeting in September 2014 on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
We extended condolences to the People and Government of the Republic of South Africa on the passing of Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa.
Finally, we extended our appreciation to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for co-hosting this meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, and expressed our gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of the meeting.