Special Envoy Said Djinnit visits Tanzania, welcomes the country's support for military action against the FDLR

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DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, January 23, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region Said Djinnit visited Tanzania on 22-23 January and met the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honorable Bernard Membe. The two officials reviewed the political and security situation in the Great Lakes region and discussed current challenges, in particular the urgent need to deal decisively with armed groups operating in eastern DRC, especially the Allied Democratic Forces

(ADF) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). In addition, they looked forward to holding the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference in 2015, endorsed by the thirteen signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region, including Tanzania.

Special Envoy Djinnit and Foreign Minister Membe exchanged views on the expiration of the 2 January 2015 deadline given to the FDLR to voluntarily disarm, and the lack of sufficient progress achieved. Security Council resolutions call for military actions to be taken by the Government of the DRC and the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) against the FDLR and other armed groups in eastern DRC. Decisions taken by leaders in the region had given the FDLR a six month time frame ending 2 January to conclude voluntary surrender or face military actions.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Tanzanian authorities for their relentless efforts to bring peace to the region. In particular, I commend Tanzanian contingent to the FIB for their active role in recent operations against the ADF in Beni in order to put an end to horrific acts of violence carried out by the armed group in the area,” Special Envoy Djinnit said. “I also feel encouraged by Tanzania's commitment to assist in efforts to neutralize all the negative forces in eastern DRC, and in particular, in the planned operations by the Government of the DRC and MONUSCO FIB against the FDLR,” he told the Tanzanian Foreign Minister.

The Special Envoy's visit is taking place on the eve of a major meeting of Heads of State of the region under the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework scheduled for 31 January on the margins of the African Union

(AU) Summit in Addis Ababa. The meeting, bringing together the thirteen PSC Framework signatory countries, the UN, AU, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), will review the situation in the Great Lakes region and the status of implementation of the Framework agreement.