Democratic Republic of Congo: UN-broken Accord Signed by Regional Nations

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Democratic Republic of Congo: UN-broken Accord Signed by Regional Nations

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


In a major development for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) it was announced that major regional African nations have signed a much needed accord which was brokered by the United Nations (UN). It is hoped that all regional nations will abide by all the conditions laid down in the accord because in the past too many nations had a plethora of self interests in the DRC. Therefore, if regional nations remain faithful to the accord, it is sincerely hoped that genuine economic developments will take place whereby the abundant resources are used to the full.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, witnessed the signing in the capital of Ethiopia. He stated that he hoped that this would generate “an era of peace and stability.” However, in a more cautionary note Ban Ki-moon stated that “It is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement.”

Of course, the UN General Secretary is right to issue a cautionary note because sadly you have had many false dawns in the DRC. Also, the regional dynamics of the region means that many players can easily exploit and destabilize vast areas of this nation based on a multitude of different factors. In saying that, it is clear that regional nations are working much more together in many parts of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa. This notably applies to Mali and Somalia, but also includes several other nations, alongside the new accord signed in Ethiopia which is related to the DRC.

Since the March 23 rebel movement took up military arms against the government based in Kinshasa, it was more than apparent that they were well organized and structured. This reality led to accusations which were pinned at certain regional nations by the UN. These nations categorically denied all wrong doing and irrespective of the reality on the ground – and the covert links which enabled March 23 to take districts within Eastern DRC – the accord would appear to imply that all regional powers are now on board.

Since May 2012, when the March 23 rebel group emerged rapidly, vast numbers of people fled and became displaced. According to figures given this applies to approximately 800,000 people. Not surprisingly, this created a new burden on the DRC and agencies which are trying to help this nation. After all, despite the vast natural resources of the DRC, it is clear that vast numbers of people suffer from poverty related issues.

The signed agreement by eleven nations which are connected to the Great Lakes region may even establish a special military contingent in order to prevent future destabilization. This applies to a UN intervention brigade in the volatile region of Eastern DRC. Alongside the military angle it is hoped that economic and political developments will also follow.

Of course, many individuals and organizations are still skeptical about future developments. Thierry Vircoulon from the International Crisis Group commented that the “The African Union does not possess the necessary military capabilities to deploy a force in eastern DR Congo in the short term because it is already overwhelmed by the crises in Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali.”

Developments have moved on since Thierry Vircoulon made this statement but he clearly raises valid points. Yet clearly Uganda wants regional stability therefore this nation continues to play an active role throughout the region. Likewise, a lot of pressure was put on Rwanda and this was followed by negative press. However, instead of focusing on “the past” and “the real reality” behind the March 23 movement; it is hoped that the new accord will pave the way for greater stability in the DRC.

It is essential that the international community and all regional African nations work together because the people of the DRC have suffered enough.

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