Zuma to attend peace accord signing ceremony

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is to attend the signing ceremony of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region to be held in Ethiopia on Sunday, the Presidency said.

The eleven signatories to the framework will include the presidents and representatives of Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The Presidency said the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission will sign as witnesses and guarantors, along with the Chairpersons of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Chair of the AU and the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are also expected to attend the ceremony.

The Eastern DRC has been in a state of chaos for over a decade now while concerns continue over the persistent illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region.

“It would be recalled that over the last few years, the AU, the UN and other international partners have been actively involved in efforts to promote peace, security, stability and development in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region,” said the Presidency.

It said while “commendable progress” has been made, a number of challenges remain.

“The situation highlights the need for renewed efforts by all concerned within the region, with the support of the international community, building on the initiatives of the ICGRL and SADC."

The AU and the UN spearheaded the process that led to the signing of the December 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region. The proposed Framework articulates a set of commitments at the level of the DRC, the Region and the international community. It also includes an oversight mechanism to facilitate follow-up and implementation of the commitments made.

Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. SAnews.gov.za