The presidents of Congo and Rwanda have signed an agreement calling for an international military force to root out the current rebellion in eastern DRC. According to a Reuters report yesterday, the agreement came out of a meeting of leaders from the Great Lakes region in connection with an African Union summit in Addas Ababa, Ethiopia. Presidents Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame also met one-on-one at AU headquarters, in connection with the Great Lakes session.
According to Reuters, “Kabila, Kagame and the other Great Lakes presidents condemned ‘in the strongest terms the actions of the M23 and other negative forces operating in the region and support the efforts deployed by the government of the DRC for the restoration of peace and security in North Kivu province,’ according to the declaration from the meeting seen by Reuters. Endorsing Thursday’s security pact, the leaders also condemned a separate eastern rebellion by predominantly Hutu insurgents and agreed to ‘work with the AU and the UN for an immediate establishment of a neutral international force to eradicate’ all armed groups in eastern Congo.”
The fuller account is well worth reading: “Congo, Rwanda presidents sign up to anti-rebel pact.” The BBC also has a good report online: “Rwanda and DRC ‘agree on international border force.’” Both articles treat the important question of where the international force will come from, as well as giving helpful perspectives on the history of violence in this region.
Just to be clear: the area talked about here, where violence involving various groups has continued past the end of the second Congolese war in 2003, is on the opposite side of the country from the Ubangi region, where the Paul Carlson Partnership is at work. Our area has been mostly calm since ’03, with only one brief outbreak near the region significant enough to worry about in these nine years.
SAJ 16 Jul 2012